Police thwart UPND Chawama rally

The UPND has accused the Zambia Police of having disturbed their plans to hold a rally in Chawama grounds yesterday and deferred the failed rally to a later date.
UPND deputy secretary general Kachunga Simusamba said police officers in riot gear were deployed to the grounds as early as 06:00 hours yesterday accompanied by PF vigilantes.
But Lusaka Province Commissioner Joyce Kasosa denied police presence at the venue in Chawama.
Ms Kasosa said the claims by the opposition party were not true as police advised them not to go ahead with the planned rally because there was no enough manpower to offer security.
“They are dreaming. Where did the police come from because we did not send any officers to that area because we did not have enough manpower so we advised them not to go ahead.
“There is no such a thing as officers going to Chawama and wait for them,” she said.
However, Mr Simusamba told the Daily Nation that they were shocked when they found officers in riot gear when they intended to have a peaceful rally.
He said his party decided to move the meeting to a later date as it feared that the venue was not conducive for such a meeting because of anticipated reaction from the armed police officers.
“There was no need for police to give us a go ahead because we are within the law and  next time we shall proceed with or without police man power.
“We decided to defer today’s (yesterday) rally because we feared that innocent people may be injured by police officers the way they did in Kabwata. So to protect the lives of innocent citizens we decided to choose another date but the venue would be the same,” said Simusamba.