THE Zambia Police in Solwezi in North Western province have intensified their operations ahead of the September 11, 2014 parliamentary by-elections.
The police are now searching every vehicle that enters Solwezi district as an alert operation following suspicions that some political party was planning to smuggle into the constituency pre-marked ballot papers.
In the early hours of Thursday a combined team of police officers from Traffic department and mobile unit were found at a mounted road block on the entrance into Solwezi and were searching all vehicles that were getting into the district.
One of the officers who preferred to remain anonymous told the Daily Nation in Solwezi that the 24 hours road block was meant to curb any possibilities of any of the political parties taking part in the by-election to smuggle marked ballot papers into Solwezi.
“We are merely doing our work because there have been a lot of complaints that the police are not working whenever there is a by-election. We have been blamed for the loss some political parties have suffered in some by-election because we did not carry out this kind of an operation. Those who lose have been calling us names to say we failed to block PF, UPND or even MMD from taking marked ballot papers in the constituency,” the officer explained.The officers who carried out the search on a Ticklays Bus further charged that the operation would continue until the by-election was over.
The officers are using a security scanner to conduct their operation on every vehicle.
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has arrived in Solwezi to hold a series of meetings to drum up support for the party’s candidate Dawson Kafwaya.
Hakainde who was in Eastern province’s Vibwi and Kasenengwa constituencies on a campaign trail arrived in Solwezi on Thursday morning after he held several meeting in Mkushi.
He is expected to hold several public rallies in Solwezi before heading to Zambezi West to drum up support for Charles Kakoma the UPND candidate.