POLICE in Nakonde yesterday teargassed and attempted to block UPND president Hakainde Hichilema from entering the district.
Hichilema, who was accompanied by party officials and supporters, tried to negotiate his way but to no avail.
The Police started firing teargas canisters when one vehicle from the UPND entourage made it past them.
Later in the afternoon, however, Hichilema and his entourage managed to enter Nakonde and went ahead with their road show.
In a Facebook post, Hichilema said it was unfortunate that he was being blocked from driving to some parts of the country.
“We feel for the Police. This should not be happening in our country. Since when did the law change to start demanding for a permit or indeed passport for us to drive through some parts of the Country like Nakonde in Muchinga Province? Fellow Zambians, this will end next week. Together as Zambians we will say no to such behaviour,” said Hichilema.
“Let us all unite and vote out this corrupt and barbaric regime. Despite these threats on our democracy, we encourage you citizens to continue saying no to this dictatorship and come August, vote for UPND. Whether they like it or not, this August they are leaving office because your vote is the greatest weapon. It’s time for Change!”
And in an interview, UPND Alliance member Dr Ernest Mwansa who was part of the entourage wondered why they were stopped from campaigning.
“We are now going into Nakonde, we talked to the police and failed, then people prevailed and they are just saying that ’we are taking you through’. The police have left. So far everything looks calm, people are just celebrating,” said Dr Mwansa.
“The police had blocked the entrance in Nakonde. They were not allowing us to go in. They were using teargas to disperse people. I have just heard that there is a lady who has been hurt by the police but I am not sure. The President is okay, he is a strong man. We are trying as much as we can to campaign, what kind of elections do you run like this? It is like telling a boxer that I will tie your hands behind your back then we go into the boxing ring. If the man thinks he is popular, let him allow his friend to campaign.
Earlier, Police in Isoka also attempted to stop another road show by the opposition party.
In Isoka, Hichilema was also accompanied by party officials and supporters who were singing solidarity songs and chanting “we want change” were temporarily stopped from continuing their road show.
They were only allowed to proceed after they negotiated with the police officers.
When contacted, Police Commissioner for Muchinga Province Lizzy Maching could not give a comprehensive comment on the matter.
“I think let me do the work, there is still some confusion there, I am in Chinsali here, there is no one who has told me that information. I have not seen anything, let me do the work, we still have a lot of work to do. It is too early to ask my dear, I am organizing for people to go there,” said Maching.