United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that it is not true that police rescued him from being physically attacked by Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who raided SUN FM radio station baying for his blood.
Hichilema has told the Daily Nation that when the cadres raided SUN FM radio where he was featuring, they beat up the police officers and chased them away while using bad language.
Hichilema said the cadres who were armed with an assortment of weapons ranging from guns, machetes and planks to some crudely made weapons, attacked his entourage and beat them up while the police were watching.
The UPND leader said he watched the police getting beaten by the cadres who later chased them from the premises of SUN FM radio station adding that it was unfortunate that some media houses had twisted the story so as to create an impression that that the police had acted professionally.
He explained that there were two incidents with the first being the raiding of the radio station while the second was when the cadres raided the new UPND offices in Ndola.
Hichilema said he was helped to sneak out of SUN FM studio by journalists and his security personnel and that the police were nowhere near the scene as they had been beaten and chased.
“The police are lying that the rescued me. I watched from the fourth floor of Insurance Building housing SUN FM radio and I saw police being beaten and chased. In fact the PF cadres beat up some of our officials on the Copperbelt before beating and chasing the police. The cadres armed with guns and pangas clobbered the police and they ran away. So tell the police that they are lying that they rescued me,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema said the people who attacked him and his entourage were known PF cadres and that the police should stop misleading the country that they were investigating the matter when the culprits were known.
He challenged the police to be bold enough to confess that they were unable to work professionally because the cadres of the ruling party had been given more powers and could even beat and harass the law enforcement officers.
And Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) has appealed to President Michael Sata to disarm his cadres to avoid what happened in Rwanda in 1994.
Ntewewe said President Sata should come out and condemn the violence that has specifically targeted people with divergent views from that of the ruling PF.
He charged that recent attacks on the opposition UPND party president Hakainde Hichilema could be described as genocide perpetrated by the ruling party ‘militia’.
“What is more saddening is that the President has decided to remain quiet over the violence being perpetrated by his own party cadres, which in essence gives a seal of approval of the violence activities against political opponents. We condemn the barbaric behavior where the cadres have decided to take the law in their own hands,” Ntewewe said.
He explained that even the police service has been compromised in dealing with violent PF cadres who have been allowed to threaten and beat innocent citizens at will.
Ntewewe charged that from the BIGOCA Church attacks in Lusaka last year, the pouring of opaque beer on Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya in Ndola and other violent incidents that have taken place, known cadres have been left scot-free without police intervention.
“Look at the recent Youth Day commemorations where cadres were garbed in military attire including red barrettes synonymous with Zambia Army security uniform matched passed Vice President Dr Guy Scott but the police remained unmoved as enforcement officers.
The PF cadres have become an all-powerful clique and the top most body above the institutions of governance on law and order,” he said.