TWO Patriotic Front cadres have sustained injuries after they were beaten by Mufulira residents and some UPND cadres for trying to stop a program featuring UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
And Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga says she was not in a position to state if PF cadres disrupted the radio program.
In an interview, Katanga said no arrest had been made yet.
She advised radio station managers to notify the police if they wanted to air certain programs to avoid lawlessness.
“We have received three cases of assault from PF and UPND cadres who fought at radio Mafken where the UPND leader was live on the same radio. The two clashed at the same radio station. As a result of the clash, three people were assaulted namely; Brian Phiri of house number 401 RC Chibolya who reported that he was assaulted by people he could identify, he sustained a swelling on his back. No arrest has been made. This occurred today at 17:00 hours, Honest Bwalya of House number B47 in Kankoyo, 29, a PF cadre he sustained a cut behind his head and Fided Lungu of unknown house in Kitwe aged 38, he sustained a deep cut on the head,” Katanga said.
“The issue of disruption of radio stations, I am not in a position to confirm anything on that because I am still receiving a detailed report. We have not received any report from the radio station. I would like to advise the radio managers on the Copperbelt, it is important that they inform the police when they have such programs to avoid lawlessness. Because then, the police would be able to ensure that law and order prevails. It is important that they notify the police of certain programs so that we don’t have a repeat of what transpired today.”
Katanga said police was not going to tolerate animosity from UPND cadres who damaged the property of a PF cadre.
“After the confusion in town, the UPND cadres led by a Mufulira resident by the name of Mabeta who was using a canter in the company of Kelvin Kabwiku, Ngwanda, Black Face and Y Commander maliciously damaged house number O303 Kamuchanga for a PF cadre known as Nickson Mupeta aged 44 by breaking 16 window panes, 42 inch Plasma TV, a black display all valued at K7,560. This incident will not go unpunished. We will not tolerate lawlessness and political violence of any sort. We are not going to allow animosity. We also wish to warn those that like inciting members of the public that they will be visited by the law,’ said Katanga.
And in a separate interview, sources at Mafken Radio station said the PF cadres went to the radio station trying to stop the radio program but that they were overpowered by their UPND counterparts and members of the public.
“HH was being interviewed via phone. It is a paid for program that airs every Friday at 15:00 hours. It has been running for quite some time. Even the PF have got a paid for program. Hakainde was just talking about mining, the high cost of living, the economy and so on. When the program started, we had people calling from the PF saying the programe should be stopped because they thought HH was in the studio. After that, PF cadres came at the radio station wearing bullet proof vests and carrying teasers but they were overpowered by UPND cadres. And also, members of the public, upon seeing the situation, descended on the PF cadres,” said the sources who sought anonymity.
“They took the law into their own hands. And they started guarding the radio station until power went off but it was restored because there is genset. After that, there were two buses filled with PF cadres that came with Pangas (machetes) and they were looking for HH. There are two PF cadres that were terribly beaten and there is confusion here in Mufulira. The people that have done this are well known cadres in the governing party. We have reached a point where the PF cadres come here on daily basis to check what we are writing and find out who is coming on the radio.”