EASTERN Province PF chairman Andrew Lubusha says the ruling party in the area is still trying to get hold of provincial youth chairperson Emmanuel J. Banda, commonly known as Jay Jay, following last week’s fracas at Lusaka Central Police.

But PF sources in Petauke have told News Diggers that Banda, commonly known as Jay Jay, fled into Mozambique upon hearing that police were looking for him on charges of aggravated robbery.

Police in Lusaka have launched a manhunt for Banda, who let PF cadres into an attack on Lusaka Central Police station where they assaulted unsuspecting officers on duty and got away with an undisclosed amount of money, belonging to one of the officers.

Sources say the incident happened two weeks ago after the anti-robbery squad of the Police, popularly known as C5, shot and killed a suspect earlier, who happened to be Banda’s relative.

The suspected robber died after sustaining four bullet wounds.

This is said to have infuriated the PF official who demanded to meet the officers involved in the shooting incident.

However, the officers did not comply, prompting Banda to mobilize cadres who stormed Lusaka Central Police, with at least one visible firearm, and assaulted some of the police officers who were on duty.

When asked about Banda’s whereabouts, Lubusha, in an interview, said the province had still not heard from Banda as his phones were unreachable.

“We have not heard anything from him. His phones have been unreachable and we got the information a little bit late because we were in Mwanya doing some party mobilisation and also making some COVID-19 donations. Going forward, our President (Edgar Lungu) has always been emphasising on discipline and unity. And what is so disappointing is that as the ruling party, we need to set an example so that we set a precedent for the opposition to follow. But nevertheless, I can’t speak much because I have not heard from him and his side of the story. But what I would like to emphasise is that we are a law-abiding party and we expect all of our members to set a good example. If, indeed, that is what happened, we would like to condemn the act in every possible term,” said Lubusha.

“But I would like to get his side of the story because I am commenting on a one-sided story; we have only heard from the police. But we sympathise with the police if it happened and we would like to sincerely extend our apologies to the Inspector General of Police [Kakoma Kanganja] as well as the Minister of Home Affairs [Stephen Kampyongo]. There is a bad name and as a party, we are not going to interfere with the investigations of the police. Once we get his side of the story, we will sit down as the party and look at the best way we can try to protect the image of the President and that of the party.”

But a PF source in Petauke said Banda’s whereabout are not a secret to the party.

“Lubusha and the secretariat in Lusaka know where to find Jay Jay if they are truly looking for him. Jay Jay is in Mozambique, that’s where he is and they know. This is not a new route for him, he has a lot of dealings in Mozambique, even his vehicles are known there. They can find him,” the source said.

“What our party should be explaining is why they are not suspending him or firing him from that position. If he did nothing wrong, why is he on the run? Why is he not surrendering himself to the police? So it is laughable when our chairman tells you that he needs to hear the side of the person who is on the run. That’s a fugitive who is running away from the law, what does he want from him? If we are serious about discipline in the party, we must treat offenders the same way. Not looking at someone’s face.”