SESHEKE UPND member of parliament Romeo Kangombe has denied allegations that he was in the vehicle in which two abducted police officers were bundled.
And party chairman for agriculture Levy Ngoma says the party will not avail its leader Hakainde Hichilema to police in Mpika as doing so will be taking themselves into a PF trap.
Meanwhile, Hichlema was yesterday blocked from visiting his counterpart Chishimba Kambwili in prison after officers told him to get clearance from Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo before he could be admitted.
Last week, Mpika police summoned Hichilema and Kang’ombe over some incidences which transpired when they were in the area.
And on Friday, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo charged that Kang’ombe was in the vehicle where two police officers and five civil servants were bundled after being abducted.
“The occupants of the vehicle on which the two officers were bundled included the member of parliament for Sesheke constituency, honourable Romeo Kangombe. So dear colleagues, besides the two officers, five other people including two civil servants, an agricultural extension officer, a veterinary officer and three community members who stood by the road side were also attacked by this militia group and they sustained serious injuries and multiple deep cuts. In addition, the seven casualties recorded, the UPND militia group also stole properties which included a Lenovo laptop, a wallet, a shaving machine, cell phones and cash money amounting to K2,400. All the stolen items were valued at approximately K10,000. Furthermore, one residential house had the spare bedroom and kitchen window glass panes deliberately damaged. This damage of the residential house is yet to be ascertained,” said Kampyongo.
But in an interview, Kangombe said Kampyongo’s statement was nothing but lies and malice.
“It’s malice, it’s not true. My comment is it’s not true, what the Home Affairs Minister should have done is that before issuing the statement, I am his colleague, I am a member of parliament just like him, I am his young brother for that matter. He should have engaged me to get the truth from me, not rushing to the media. I never got any civil servant, so I am waiting for an official call out then I will respond, I will go to the police. As at now, I haven’t received any [official summon] so when I receive, I will appear,” he said.
When asked if he was worried that Kampyongo’s statement would influence investigations, he said he was waiting to see how events would unfold.
“I don’t know, I am just waiting. Its in public domain so you guys will be following the event as they unfold. If I may ask you, how can you identify a police officer? It’s by way of uniform or an ID, so I had none in that context and as far as I am concerned, there were no people abducted,” said Kangombe.
And at a press briefing, Sunday, Ngoma wondered why Hichilema was being summoned despite being a victim of a PF attack.
“Those are the aggressors, those are the ones who are supposed to be the accused, shamelessly, you hear one Hakainde Hichilema being summoned to appear before an institution, the police, for a crime that he never committed. The United Party for National Development in this regard has not committed a crime, yes there is those summons which the police have prepared. If you were to pose a question, do we attend to such? Your answer is as a good as mine. No law abiding citizen will take himself in harm’s way. This trap that the Patriotic Front have set before us that we should go to wherever they could be summoning us, we are way ahead of them because we have got information, factually so that from Kabwe, Kapiri, Mkushi, Serenje, Mpika, they have lined up their cadres so that mayhem breaks out, peoples lives get to be lost in the process. We are not going to fall into such a trap,” said Ngoma.
“There are other ways and means which can be pursued to pursue this matter, those other means, we are ready but for this call, to go and throw ourselves in harm’s way, the UPNDs position is that it is not attainable and we are not ready for that. That is the position because we are the victims.”
And during the same briefing, party secretary general Stephen Katuka demanded the arrest of Esau Ngoma who was identified as one of the people who was throwing stones at Hichilema’s convoy in Serenje.
“We demand as a party for the arrest of one Esau Jere who has been mentioned as one of those who was throwing stones and is a known figure, he is a chairman for Serenje PF and there is another one who was the chairman for Lukashya who was there and has been identified. Those are the people we demand the police to arrest before they can send call out to innocent people,” said Katuka.
Meanwhile, Hichilema was yesterday blocked from visiting Kambwili despite other officials being granted access.
He wondered why PF had time to monitor prison visits when they had more pressing issues like the debt mountain to deal with.
“Those inside this prison have a right to be visited, we who are outside have a right to visit those inside, no one should stand in between unless those standing in between agree that this is a demonstration of the breakdown of the rule of law. No order, no leadership, nothing. Ni chipante pante, that’s what’s going on. Only rogues stand in between but I know the prison officers here are not the ones who are responsible for this, it is the political leadership of the PF which has nothing to do because if they had something to do, especially working on the Eurobond and the debt mountain, they would be busy working on the mess they have put in the country in and not paying attention to visitations within the law,” said Hichilema.
NDC vice-president Josephs Akafumba said the prison officers asked Hichilema to get clearance from Kampyongo.
“What they have told us is that president HH must get clearance from the minister of home affairs, Kampyongo which to me doesn’t make sense, why, because today, its an official visiting day. The sad part is a lot of people have been allowed, but why not HH, isn’t he a person, isn’t he a Zambian for him to visit his fellow president. This confirms what we have said from the word go that this was a political persecution,” said Akafumba.