THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has been challenged to explain the presence of bullets, machetes, drugs and a register at vice president Geoffrey Mwamba’s premises rather than giving excuses and accusing Governmnet of plotting to arrest its leaders Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Mwamba.
This follows UPND chairperson for Information and Publicity Charles Kakoma’s statement yesterday that Governmnet was building up a case to arrest Mr. Hichilema, Mwamba and other senior top officials in order to paralyse its campaigns in this year’s election,
Patriotic Front (PF) deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said the UPND needed to come out clear on the offensive weapons that were recovered by police at Mr. Mwamba’s premises rather than dragging the ruling party into unnecessary squabbles.
And Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma has charged that Mr. Mwamba’s statement that he could do better if he wanted to train militias for the UPND was significant and should be investigated because it was a threat to national security.
Mr. Musoma said Zambians were waiting to hear what defence Mr. Mwamba had over the drilling of UPND cadres and the offensive weapons found at his premises since he always claimed that his party was peaceful.
He said it was unfortunate that Mr. Mwamba, who once served the country as defence minister could boast that he could do better in training cadres as party militias without realising the security implication of his statement to the peace and stability of the country.
“We thank the police for their quick action to quell this barbaric behaviour and we urge them to do more so that all those involved are brought to book because we cannot allow a situation of lawlessness in our country.
Mr. Mwamba’s statement that he could do better in training militias suggests that he knows something about the scheme.
“People in UPND know that they are losing this election and now they have resolved to use violence while playing the victim to attract a vote of sympathy from the Zambians but they should not think that they will continue to elude punishment for the wrongs that they are doing. Time to cage them is now,” Mr. Musoma said.
He called upon the police not to relent or be intimidated by anyone in their execution of duty but remain steadfast to ensuring that the security of the country was safeguarded especially now that the country was going into the polls.
During a press briefing at the UPND secretariat yesterday, Mr. Kakoma challenged the police to clarify where the bullets they allegedly seized from Mr. Mwamba’s premises on Saturday morning came from because they had failed to name the items they found when they were initially asked by the UPND officials.
He said his party was aware that Governmnet was scheming to come up with trumped up charges against Mr. Hichilema and Mwamba in order to derail the party’s mobilisation and campaigns.
He said the arresting of the 21 UPND cadres was the beginning of the scheme as some of the cadres in police custody were specifically bought by the PF to testify against UPND by alleging that they were under instruction from Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba to engage in violent activities.
He maintained that there was no justification in arresting people who were just having a walk out in the gymn and wondered how his party would train 250 militias as alleged by PF with only one spear and two machetes that were seized by the police.
“Our party has been infiltrated by spies who have been planted by the PF to testify against us.
They could even be among the 21 picked up by the police on Saturday so that they can falsely testify that they were given instruction by Mr. Hichilema,” Mr. Kakoma said.