A government Minister and some District Commissioners in Mangango were yesterday caught red-handed placing private number plates on government vehicles with the intention of abusing the motor vehicles in the by-election campaigns in the area.
But instead of arresting the people who were committing the electoral crime, the police in Western Province have locked up a United Party for National Development (UPND) official identified as Nasilele for grabbing the keys of the vehicles and the private number plates and reporting the matter to police.
An alert UPND campaign team exposed the electoral scandal when they reported the Minister and the District Commissioners to police after they caught them removing government number plates from 18 government vehicles and replacing them with private number plates.
According to UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba, the UPND campaign team grabbed the private number and the keys to the government vehicles and took them to police in Kaoma.
The UPND has since submitted a list of 18 government motor vehicles whose government number plate numbers were allegedly changed to private ones so that motor vehicles could be used in the Mangango constituency by-election campaigns.
Mr Simusamba told the Daily Nation from Mangango yesterday that the opposition political party campaign team discovered that the PF Ministers and some District Commissioners were swapping the GRZ plate numbers with private ones so that the vehicles could be used for their campaigns.
Mr Simusamba said Western Province UPND official Nasilele was arrested after grabbing the car keys and the plate numbers from Mr Mwaliteta when quickly rushed to police to report.
Mr Simusamba has warned that the UPND would not tolerate the Patriotic Front (PF)’s continued abuse of government resources during by-elections.
Mr Simumba said the UPND would continue effecting citizens’ arrest if the PF would continue flouting the electoral rules and regulations and that no amount of intimidation and harassment would deter them from ensuring the political playing field was leveled.
‘This morning, our campaign team found some PF Ministers and a number of District Commissioners (DCs) in Western Province who were in the act of changing government plate number to private one so that the vehicles could be abused in their campaigns. They have so far changed the GRZ plate numbers to private ones on 18 vehicles and we have submitted the list of the motor vehicles to police. The youths who found the Minister in the act grabbed the keys and the number plates and quickly rushed to the police to report. But instead of arresting the Minister, the police arrested our youth leader Nasilele and have denied him bond,” Mr Simusamba said.
He said it was annoying that the police were acting like puppets of the ruling party adding the UPND had sent more youths on the ground to monitor the illegal activities of the ruling party.
Mr Simusamba said the UPND would not stand with its arms akimbo and continue watching the ruling party violate the electoral rules with impunity.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga when contacted referred the matter to Western Province police commissioner.