Don’t blame us for violence

The current problems and animosity being experienced in Livingstone were created by the ruling Patriotic Front party but the party and some organizations have decided to blame it on the UPND, says UPND Southern Province provincial secretary Winnerson Ng’uni.

“We would like to put on record that we are disappointed and concerned by PF and some civil society organizations that are blaming us without verifying their information,” he said.

“It is disappointing that some civil society organizations have joined the PF in blaming the UPND for their failures. UPND did not make promises as such we have the mandate to criticize the PF, “he said.

He said that the recent violence which took place in Mpongwe and Livingstone was blamed on the UPND even when it was orchestrated by the PF.

Mr. Ng’uni said that such insinuation and speculations are destroying the country’s democracy adding that there is need for urgency in the way Zambians view these issues.

He said that for Livingstone by-election, many people knew there was not going to be any violence but the situation turned upside down at the last minute after the PF government sent over seven full cabinet ministers to camp in the tourist capital.

“At first we were given an impression that there was not going to be a problem especially with deployment of some police officers but to the contrary immediately some cabinet ministers arrived in Livingstone everything went wrong,” Mr. Ng’uni said.

“From their coming to Livingstone, it became clear that theira presence was meant to give directions and dictate how the campaigns should be conducted. And this made PF members pompous and took advantage of the situation. Surely how do you blame the UPND,” he said.

And Mr. Ng’uni has shared his experience after he was roughly beaten by a PF youth in full view of police officers including the Officer In charge at the Livingstone central police last week.

According to him, a youth who identified him as a UPND member and ruthlessly slapped him at the inquiries as he was inquiring the whereabouts of some of the UPND members who were detained in various police stations.

“At that point, I did not know that some people were behind me and I was only surprised that unidentified youth slapped me right in front of the officer in charge and he was watching,” he narrated.

“The youth took over the running of the police that day. I had no choice but to run away and no one has ever slapped me like that. I am a victim myself,” he remembered.