VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says some Mpika and Serenje residents were beaten up by UPND officials after they refused to respond to the opposition party’s slogans.

And Vice-President Wina has urged police officers not to condone any lawlessness in the country as was the case in the two areas.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Wina has urged political leaders to ensure that they familiarise themselves with ethnic tribes in order to avoid landing themselves in problems by using offensive words.

During the Vice-President’s question time, Friday, Serenje member of parliament Maxwell Kabanda asked what government’s position was over the abduction of policemen in Mpika and the trail of destruction that was left in that area where properties were damaged.

In her response, Vice-President Wina said UPND cadres beat up Mpika residents for not responding to their slogans.

“Mr Speaker, the abduction of government workers in this case of police officers is very regrettable. And the abduction was carried out by people who are known party cadres. And some of them were even leaders who engaged in this exercise. The police officers were guarding the area and then a convoy passed by showing slogans of their party. And the people standing on the road side who did not respond were beaten by this group of hooligans driving in a convoy. And these were UPND cadres. And two police officers were injured and the ammunition taken from their guns and then sent away to tell their story. Some of them are in hospital now,” Vice-President Wina said.

She said it would be worrying if the abduction incident symbolized the beginning of Armageddon.

“Mr Speaker it’s very regrettable that things like this can happen in our country. Or maybe it’s the beginning of the state of turbulence that we have heard about. If we start to be unruly before we even end the year going into 2021 at election time, I don’t know how the situation would be like. And I want to urge our police officers that they should not condone any lawlessness as we saw in Mpika and Serenje. The officers who were supposed to intercept this group of hooligans left them scot-free and now they have escaped the law. But they will be followed because they are known. So, Mr Speaker, it’s very unfortunate that incidences of this nature can arise where violence is used on innocent people who should be protecting our politicians but instead they are beaten. I hope this is not the beginning of Armageddon that we hear about,” Vice-President Wina said.

And when asked by Senga Hill MP Kapembwa Simbao if Zambia was still safe following the indiscriminate use of some Bemba idioms by some political leaders, Vice-President Wina encouraged political leaders to familiarize themselves ethic tribes before using them.

“Mr Speaker, we are one Zambia one nation and we use each other’s language. However, before you learn another ethnic group’s language, it’s better to know which words are offensive and which words are for this and that. It’s unfortunate that some of the words were used which either are derogatory or offensive being used by people who may not understand the language fully. And some languages are full of idioms. So, if you are taken by the flowery nature of that language, you can land yourself into problems. I encourage Zambians to learn these languages but to be weary of how we use the language especially where we are not sure about the meaning of the words that we want to use, especially in public because public pronouncements have wider repercussions. So, when you use words at a public rally, you have to weigh the impact of those words on your audience. And I believe this is being considered by our leaders and that our leaders will take note after what transpired in Lukashya constituency and other areas where offensive words were used,” Vice-President Wina said.

Meanwhile, when Chavuma UPND member of parliament Victor Lumayi asked her when government would release funds to work on the dilapidated Chieke-Chingi road and other township roads in his constituency, Vice-President Wina encouraged parliamentarians to develop a habit of liaising with line ministries.

“Mr Speaker, as members of parliament, we should be very concerned about the state of not only roads but the welfare of our people in the constituencies. And we can only source this information from the line ministries. I would like to see a situation where members of parliament engage the technocrats in various ministries to inquire on the various projects that the government is rolling out in these areas and we will get more and better information than to wait until you get to parliament for the Vice President’s question time to ask such a question. Mr Speaker, the government is very committed in improving rural connectivity to ensure that our people in rural areas can travel on passable roads particularly as they take their produce to the markets. So, we are committed as the government to ensure that roads in North Western Province will be looked at as we are doing in other areas. So, Mr Speaker, I will still urge the MP to interact with the infrastructure ministry to see how the three roads that he mentioned can be attended to,” said Vice-President Wina.