FIVE opposition UPND officials in Kitwe have been detained for distributing face masks in markets.

And seven UPND officials in Wusakile have also been detained for holding an in-door party mobilization meeting.

UPND Copperbelt spokesperson Kennedy Kalunga confirmed the arrests to News Diggers!

The five officials include UPND Kitwe District vice chairman Chrispin Chomba, and they were picked up at Bulangililo Market as they were distributing free face masks to traders.

Kalunga said it was unfair to arrest people that were fighting Covid-19.

“The President has said we should fight Covid-19 by helping the vulnerable especially the marketeers who can’t afford to buy face masks. Now our members went to help and they are arrested, why? This is so unfair. We wonder why the police want to politicise the fight against Covid-19,” said Kalunga.

And Kalunga said seven other officials were picked up at a private home in Wusakile on Sunday.

“Just yesterday, our colleagues were at a home in Wusakile having a private meeting to look at ways of mobilization amid Covid-19, but the police came in numbers, outnumbering the people at a meeting. They were a arrested and detained. We have tried to secure police bond, but the police have refused. They have not even been charged but just keeping them in cells,” said Kalunga.

Kalunga said the party had since informed its legal team to ensure that the members were taken to court.

But in an interview, Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga said she was not aware about those who were nabbed for distribuing face masks.

“I am not aware about them distributing face masks in Bulangililo, I need to find out on that one. What I am aware about is that there were some UPND cadres who had an illegal meeting in Busakile, seven were apprehended and in Riverside area, five so together 12,” said Katanga.