ZAMBIA Police spokesperson Esther Katongo says police have arrested suspected UPND cadres who were caught on the scene trying to damage a PF office in Chelstone, Saturday.
But Katongo says the police have failed to arrest any PF cadres who attacked a UPND constituency office.
Meanwhile, UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says he is yet to receive any report of any cadre who has been arrested following the attacks.
In an interview, Katongo explained that police had failed to arrest any PF cadres because they were not at the scene of the crime at the time the police arrived.
“I am still waiting for details, but the brief which I have is that on Saturday, there was a rally for the Patriotic Front somewhere at Kampwelyomba grounds. So, the rally was peaceful until after the rally itself some of the thugs believed to be the cadres, went and damaged the office of UPND, which is just along the road there. So, by the time the officers were getting to the ground, those people had already run away. Then, in retaliation, the UPND also organised and went to the office of the PF where they also went and damaged some windows,” said Katongo.
“So, at the time they were there, the officers managed to apprehend some of them. So, it is a matter where we are investigating both sides. So, for UPND, those people were found on the scene; for the PF, officers found that those who had caused damage were not there. So, in whatever matter that you have been provoked, you don’t need to take a route of committing a crime, so it is a crime to damage other properties. That is the information I have.”
Meanwhile, Katuka said that he had not received any report of an arrest of a UPND member.
He, however, said it was disappointing that Katongo was trying to blame the UPND for the fracas when the PF were the aggressors.
“I have not received any report of any UPND cadre that was arrested on Saturday. I am not aware of any UPND member being arrested. You know, Esther always wants to show that UPND is in the wrong. You can see from that story that she wants to imply that the UPND are the ones who attacked based on what Paul Moonga was saying. Paul Moonga yesterday said, ‘UPND attacked the PF first so the PF were retaliating,’ that is exactly what she is implying now. Those people had a rally, we didn’t have any function in that area and there was no way we could have assembled in that area because we had no business in that area. They had business that is why they were in numbers and when they were coming back from the rally, they stopped their minibus at the office there and went to damage people’s vehicles, which were in the nearby vicinity and those vehicles did not belong to UPND or UPND members,” said Katuka.
“They also damaged that borehole, I don’t see how they could say, ‘UPND cadres were arrested for damaging PF property.’ There could be a few citizens who could have reacted in such a manner, I believe citizens were angered by the action of the PF because it was deriving them of a service, which they so much treasure. So, they could have been a few who could have reacted, but there is no way that you could consider those to be UPND. If they arrested any, they must be local citizens around there. Esther Katongo is always defending the PF!”