Armed police officers yesterday stormed the UPND constituency offices in Mangango and fired teargas to disperse the party cadres who had gathered waiting for their leader Hakainde Hichilema.
And a Catholic Priest has bemoaned the lack of development in the vast Mangango constituency and says politicians must always fulfill their promises to the electorate.
The police officers who were in three Landcruiser vehicles and a truck stormed the UPND camp after word went round in the constituency that the UPND were planning to go and forcibly remove PF cadres who had set up camp at the residence of a veterinary officer.
Efforts to get a comment from Western province police commissioner Lombe Kamukoshi failed as her mobile number was unreachable.
Mangango UPND deputy campaign manager Kennedy Ndumba and former Kaoma DC Kingford Nasilele argued that it was wrong for PF to use government facilities for their political campaigns.
Mr. Ndumba was also apprehended and taken to Mangango police station where he was warned not to spearhead violence.
The duo insisted that if the police do not move the PF out of the government house, they would still go ahead and remove them
“We raised issues about PF using government vehicles and now they have even set up a campaign centre at a government house but the conflict resolution committee failed to take action. If police do not remove them, we shall forcibly remove them to protest our country from being abused, we are doing this because these are government facilities,” said the duo.
Efforts to get a comment from PF campaign manager Obvious Mwaliteta failed as he declined did not answer his phone.
And Mr. Hichilema condemned the raid on the UPND camp.
He accused the PF of using the police to destabilize the campaigns and instill fear in the cadres. He urged them to be strong and continue campaigning for their Mangango candidate Godwin Putu.
Mr Hichilema said the Mangango by-election was not only between Mr.Putu and the PF candidate Rogers Lingweshi but was also an election between himself and President Michael Sata whom he said had failed to fulfill his campaign promises.
Earlier at St. Joseph parish, Mr Hichilema thanked the church for the good works they were doing in preaching the gospel and alleviating poverty through some social programes.
Parish Priest Mathews Ngwenya bemoaned the lack of development in Mangango.
Father Ngwenya said successive governments had failed to tar roads and build a good secondary school in the area.
He said many of the school girls pursuing secondary education had resorted to renting houses in villages but later fell pregnant.
Fr Ngwenya said for this trend to be reversed, there was need for the government to build some dormitories at Mangango secondary school.