Armed Police seal off Kanyama

HEAVILY armed police yesterday sealed off Kanyama Compound to prevent UPND from holding a public rally in complete defiance of a High Court Order.

The police arrived as early as 02:30 hours and clearly meant to warn and intimidate the UPND against the highly publicized political rally.

As the police patrolled Kanyama Compound, suspected PF youths were seen in company of police ready to ‘sort out’ perceived UPND cadres.

The cadres pounced on a photo journalist Salim Dawood who they beat to the floor and struggled to grab his camera before he was rescued by the PF leadership, who they recognized as a friendly force.

The heavy presence of more than 100 armed paramilitary police officers at Twashuka Basic School frightened many residents, onlookers and bystanders in the area.

A horde of PF cadres wielding machetes, sticks catapults and other crudely made ammunitions were seen circling the venue where the rally should have been held.

The PF cadres loaded in mini buses also took control of the Los Angles road from City Market and were honking all the way while shouting obscenities against all and sundry.

The UPND last week notified the police about their intention to hold a public rally in Kanyama and permission was granted but twenty four hours before the rally, police through Lusaka Division Commissioner Solomon Jere announced that the permit had been withdrawn.

Later on Gerry Chanda, the Kanyama constituency Member of Parliament (MP) drove to the Los Angelos Police Post where he met State House Police Commissioner a Mr. Mulenga who he thanked.

Mr. Mulenga complained to Mr. Chanda that, “You asked us to come over here to stop the UPND from holding their rally here but your cadres Sir are more violent. Your members Sir are the ones that are causing problems here, they are armed with machetes, stones and iron bars.”

Earlier Mazabuka Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo and Daglous Syakalima confronted the police for disrespecting the High Court Order.

Mr. Nkombo and Mr. Syakalima were not amused that government had decided to cancel the rally even when the High Court had ordered that that the meeting should have gone ahead.

After failing to reason with the police, Mr Nkombo and Mr Syakalima left the venue and drove off to the secretariat where they held a media briefing that was attended by ADD leader Charles Milupi, ADDA president Edwin Sakala, political activist Dante Saunders among other leaders.