UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says Monze residents booed President Edgar Lungu because police officers and PF cadres defaced opposition billboards in that area.

In an interview, Mweetwa, who is also Choma Central UPND member of parliament, said people were simply expressing their displeasure to the Head of State on the police conduct.

“What happened in Monze is that President Lungu’s visit and people behaving like that was a result of irresponsibility on the part of police. Zambia Police, together with the PF cadres, a day before President Lungu’s arrival went on rampage removing all UPND billboards. They defaced portraits that were hanging around in Monze for Hakainde Hichilema. That incensed the people who decided that if they removed the Chitenges and portraits, they were going to show him that they were not happy with him. Why didn’t that happen in Livingstone and Mazabuka? It is because police working with PF cadres did not go to deface any UPND material. That was not a reaction to President Lungu, that was a reaction to police and cadres to show President Lungu to say ‘you cannot allow this’,” Mweetwa said.

“PF regalia is everywhere in Zambia and no one has conducted an act of defacing them or removing them. So why do that in Monze? They were sending a message to the Commander-in Chief to put the police in check because the police are not part of a political arena, they are neutral. People had an obligation to highlight police insensitivity by what they did. They did not say President Lungu should not come to Monze, did anyone throw stones at him? No.”

And Mweetwa vowed that the party would still go and meet people in the ruling party’s perceived strongholds.

“I don’t think it is a question of stronghold, we will be meeting our people there. If PF wants to steer and bring about physical confrontation in their perceived strongholds, they can be, who cares? For what I know is that there is no permanent stronghold. If there was a permanent stronghold, MMD would still have been in power today because Southern Province was number one stronghold for MMD. In 1991, Southern Province gave MMD 100 per cent vote whereas Eastern Province was still voting for UNIP. This is how politics is. So if PF thinks they will be there forever they are daydreaming,” said Mweetwa.