SEVERAL Patriotic Front (PF) and opposition UPND cadres were yesterday left nursing wounds after they clashed near the UPND secretariat in Kitwe’s Cha Cha Cha township.
The cadres clashed after PF cadres in more than three trucks confronted UPND cadres and tried to stop them from holding a meeting because they allegedly had no permit.The UPND cadres, who had lined up to welcome their party president Hakainde Hichilema and vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), refused to be intimidated by the PF cadres, leading to the fight.
Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the cadres from the two camps who had blocked the main road which passes through Cha Cha Cha to Mindolo township. Acting Copperbelt police commissioner Biemba Musole confirmed the clash and said cadres from both political parties sustained injuries during the fracas.
“Yes, I can confirm that PF and UPND cadres clashed after PF cadres confronted their colleagues to stop them from holding a meeting because they had no permit.
“Police officers moved in and separated the two groups of cadres. After separating them, we told UPND cadres to disperse but they refused, forcing the officers to fire teargas canisters to disperse them,” Mr Musole said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwamba (GBM) has promised to deal firmly with President Edgar Lungu if he leaves State House.
Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, said Mr Lungu should live in State House forever because if he leaves State House, he would be dealt with firmly.
He was speaking after police officers fired teargas canisters to disperse UPND and PF cadres who had clashed near the UPND secretariat in Kitwe’s Cha-Cha-Cha Township.
“President Lungu should continue to live in State House because if he leaves State house, we shall deal with him firmly. It is not our fault that the economy is in bad state. It is not our fault that there is high cost of living in Zambia. It is not our fault that there is unemployment and the Kwacha is depreciating,” Mr Mwamba said.
Mr Mwamba also promised to get rid of the entire police command in Kitwe once voted into government because ‘‘they are behaving like PF cadres hired to beat up UPND members at the meeting’’.
Mr Mwamba said if UPND wins the 2016 elections, he would ask party president Hichilema to appoint him Home Affairs minister ‘‘for a short time’’ so that he could deal with police officers in Kitwe who had become PF cadres.
“I will ask President Hichilema to appoint me as Home Affairs minister for a short time so that I get rid of some of these police officers because they are PF cadres.