Opposition UPND has warned police not to create anarchy by disrupting the planned political rally scheduled for Sunday in Kabwata constituency.
Both UPND party deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa and Deputy General Secretary Kachunga Simusamba told the Daily Nation that the party would go ahead with the rally as planned because they complied with the law.
Mr. Simusamba warned that any attempts by the police to disrupt the planned rally after being notified would not be accepted.
He said that the party had followed the laid down constitutional provisions and was satisfied that both the police and government agents would not interrupt the rally aimed at thanking Kabwata residents for having participated in the 2011 general elections.
“We want to meet our people and thank them and the role they played during the 2011 general elections. We want to encourage them to continue participating in issues of governance of this
country. Above all we want to inform them about the party’s roadmap ahead of the other by elections and the 2016 general elections,” he said.
Mr. Simusamba also warned that UPND cadres would not tolerate the police in the manner they were mismanaging the Public Order Act.
“We shall face police head on if they what to behave like politicians. What we are asking them to do is to provide security for the rally and we have met those conditions and for them to be confrontational it will be a sad day for Zambia. We shall not allow it at all,” he said.
He said that the party leadership was aware of the plan the police had, adding that the only thing the police was interested in was to shed blood.
“We saw them fueling their vehicles and they have prepared for a showdown in Kabwata…..that is our police. Instead of offering security they are preparing to fight running battles with Zambians in their own country. We shall not be intimidated and that is why we are saying that we shall go ahead with the rally on Sunday without fail. If they want to kill us let them do it,” he said.
And Mr. Mweetwa said that UPND would not accept to negotiate with police over freedoms and rights as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
He said that it was folly for anyone person to think that people should not meet or gather for a good purpose, adding that the stance the police had taken stopping citizens and opposition political party from holding public meetings was an abuse of the constitution.
“Police should not think that they are above the law and that is a timely warning we are making to them. We are all equal before the law of the land. They should know that these rights are enshrined in the constitution and no one can stop them arbitrary like that. They have to go through a referendum. So before they act they should look at the better good of the law rather than being used by political players,” said Mr. Mweetwa.
Mr. Mweetwa said that the continuous use of threatening language by police against the opposition was not in the best interest of the country’s peace and stability, adding that democratic tenets dictates that people should be free to gather and mingle.
He added that nobody had the right to withdraw the rights and freedoms the people of Zambia enjoyed, adding that police and government agents were creating anarchy in the nation by taking a political stance on governance.
Mr. Mweetwa said that UPND would only accept negotiations with the police on the number of security officers who would be allowed to monitor the rally and not to stop the meeting.