POLICE Spokesperson Esther Katongo says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not among the the party officials who have been summoned by police in Muchinga Province.
This came after UPND supporters vowed to escort Hichilema to Mpika where he had been summoned for interrogation in connection with the abduction of two police officers.
On Thursday last week, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja claimed that two police officers from Mpika Police Station were abducted by UPND cadres who were in the company of Hichilema.
A day later, Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase told News Diggers in an interview that Hichilema had been summoned to appear before police in Mpika in order to assist with investigations in the abduction case.
When asked if Hichilema was one of those that had been summoned, Njase responded in the affirmative.
“Yes, we have summoned him. Like I earlier on hinted that for now we are investigating the incident that happened. Once we hear their part of the story, that is when we can make a comment,” Njase said.
Asked when Hichilema was expected to appear before the police, Njase said announcing the date would create a security risk.
“We will advise because of security concerns. Immediately we say this day, you will find that other things will start happening. So what we want is that other people are given a chance to give their testimonies, we also want to record from them,” said Njase.
This infuriating UPND supporters who vowed to escort Hichilema to Mpika in numbers.
But Katongo warned the UPND supporters who to cancel their plans because Hichilema was not among those that had been invited.
“We wish to dispel reports that the opposition UPND leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema is among those summoned,” Katongo said in a statement.
Katongo advised those who were planning to hold a solidarity procession to rescind their plan as doing so would be tantamount to unlawful assembly.
“Having monitored some social media posts in which some UPND officials are calling for people to go and give solidarity to those members of the UPND summoned by Police in Muchinga Province, we wish to advise them not to proceed as doing so will be tantamount to unlawful assembly or conducting an illegal procession which is against the law. There is no need for sympathisers , in this regard, to come into conflict with the law. As per our mandate of maintaining law and order in the country, we will be at hand to do just that. We therefore advise all those planning to travel to Muchinga Province for the above mentioned reason to rescind their decision,” stated Katongo.