PF vice-president Given Lubinda has charged that there was a systematic attack to end his life by suspected UPND cadres in Petauke district.

And Kaumbwe PF aspiring candidate Aaron Mwanza says he is in hiding because there is a plot to kill him.

Meanwhile, UPND chairman for elections Gary Nkombo has urged the police to get to the bottom of the matter and bring the culprits to account.

On Monday, Lubinda and Mwanza were attacked by unknown people after featuring on PASME radio in Petauke.

In an interview, Lubinda said despite reporting the attack, police did not show much interest in the report.

“The matter was reported to the police. As you are well aware, President Hakainde is on record as saying that these acts of violence by the UPND are a natural reaction because they know who attacked them when they were in opposition. Secondly, you heard when Hakainde said to us in the PF that we must behave ourselves when he lamented that we are regrouping. Over and above that, I am sure at News Diggers [you] heard about the threats on my life by unknown UPND thugs and that matter was reported to the police by the party but no action has been taken. You also recall when I reported that UPND had brought people from outside Kaumbwe and Lusangazi, but the UPND denied that,” Lubinda said.

“We have only been entertained to some drama by Hakainde Hichilema about his achievements to end violence. There have been many incidences of violence in Kaumbwe and yesterday (Monday) as I was driving from PASME radio station, my convoy was ambushed and an attempt on my life was made. It is any person’s guess who were behind this attack and it is anyone’s guess who their target was. Their attack was systematic aiming at the vehicle in which I was. The matter was reported to the police who seem to have been least interested in our report.”

Lubinda said the PF would continue to defend the democracy of Zambia.

“We are going to defend the democracy of Zambia. This country won its independence through blood and we cannot afford to allow the party that is known for its ‘mapatizya formula’ to end the democracy for which many people sacrificed. We shall continue to mobilise and organise. The UPND have sensed defeat and they are so worried that they have already lost popularity on the ground just 50 days after being elected. This is an act of sheer desperation. We are not going to be intimidated. If they think that threats and violent acts against us will break our backs so that we give in, they have to be told that they have it totally wrong. This is an ideal for which we are willing to suffer,” said Lubinda.

And in a separate interview, Mwanza said he was in hiding because there was a plot to kill him.

“This is a very big source of concern for our lives. What happened yesterday (Monday) was not expected. As we left the radio station, thugs stoned our vehicles. One amazing thing is that for the police, I do not see the powers to protect the opposition despite the President making pronouncements that they should do their job. So we are scared. The radio station is not far from the police station and actually the police station is just actually by the roadside. The police are saying ‘we have no vehicle’ and that ‘why did you not catch the culprits’? How can you catch the culprits when your life is in danger? I think they started disturbing the driver so that maybe the vehicle can overturn and then they come for our lives,” he said.

“I am still confident that we will still find a way of protecting the vote. The UPND is using intimidation by intimidating the voters, beating the opposition and attacking camps. The idea is [so that] not many people can turn out to vote on the polling day. People in the constituency say ‘whatever trick they use, we know where we [will] put the vote’. They are voting for the Patriotic Front so the onus is on us to protect the votes. I am confident we will carry the day. Police must ensure that they provide security in all polling stations like they did during general elections. If they are not going to provide security then we hope to discuss it with officials that we protect the votes.”

Mwanza said the people who were perpetrating violence in Kaumbwe were not from the constituency.

“All these people that are doing these attacks are not Kaumbwe residents. They are from outside the constituency like Lusaka and other parts of the country. So the people of Kaumbwe are very much upset about this. Outsiders come to disturb our peace. Imagine right now I am in hiding and I cannot mingle freely because I am scared. I hear that they are targeting either Kaumbwe or Lusangazi candidate and kill one of them so that they cause a by-election,” said Mwanza.

Meanwhile, Nkombo encouraged the police to get to the bottom of the matter and bring the culprits to account.

“I saw that on social media. It is very regrettable that it happened. My immediate response as the opposite is that I am encouraging the vice president Given Lubinda to immediately if he has not done so, report the matter to the police. In turn, I am encouraging the police to get to the bottom of this matter so that the culprits who are behind such an ugly thing can be brought to account. That is all I can say for now because I do not have any details apart from the pictures on my phone. I regret it and it is not a good thing to have happened. They must just report to the police so that the people behind it can come and answer. We do not like to see ugly things of violence and therefore we leave it to the capable hands of the police to deal with the issue,” said Nkombo.