COPPERBELT deputy police commissioner Crispin Chambwa has refuted reports that police arrested Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) president Kasonde Mwenda for staging a protest on the free education campaign promise.
Mwenda staged a one-man protest, Monday, demanding free education for all from primary school to university.
Mwenda decided to chain himself at Kitwe Square with a banner stating “President HH, when is free education for all from primary school to university coming?”
A few moments later, reports started circulating on social media that Police in Kitwe had arrested Mwenda for staging an illegal protest on free education.
But in an interview, Chambwa denied the said report, explaining that police had merely picked him up with a view of safeguarding his life after receiving a report that some members of the public had planned to harass him.
He said that by press time, Mwenda was not in police custody.
“No, it is not true, he hasn’t been arrested. He is not in our custody anywhere; he is not in any police custody anywhere. What is there is that he was reported to be at Freedom Statue in Kitwe in the company of one person who is believed to be his Vice. Then around 13 hours, it is alleged that he was protesting there. Then of course a mob followed him with a view of course trying to harass him. So, the police received a report of someone protesting and that he was about to be harassed by members of the public,” said Chambwa.
“So that is how the police went of course with a view of safeguarding his life, just for the safety of his life. He has a right to express himself. So, he was picked at that time in the context of protecting him which of course he must have appreciated because he was almost going to be beaten up. If the police delayed, there could have been other issues of assaulting him and so on. He is not in our custody. We did not receive notification that he will be staging a peaceful protest, because if we had received that, we would have ensured that the place is safe, it is good for him and so on. We would have made sure that he applies his freedom of expression freely ensuring that the ground is safe and so on. So in short, that is what I can say. I don’t know where he stays, I don’t know where he is residing, so he is not in our custody so to say.”