By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Inspector General of police Kakoma Kanganja has dispelled a statement by United Party for National Development (UPND) claiming that police attempted to shot its leader Hakainde Hichilema while on the Copperbelt province.
Mr Kanganja said the statement issued on social by UPND is meant to hoodwink the public for political reasons.
Mr Kanganja said at no point did the police fire live ammunition to disperse crowds during the time Mr Hichilema was conducting what he termed as illegal activities.
He has advised all those worth their salt to stand on the truth as the general public expect to hear the truth from them and not the propaganda being perpetrated on social media.
“Political parties have always been advised to notify the police on their intended activities as per law requirement but some political parties have dared that they would go ahead even without notifying the police. Such conduct is uncalled for and shall not be entertained, I want to warn political parties taking part in the election that at no point will the police allow them to orchestrate or perpetuate their ill intentions aimed at disturbing public order,” he said.
Mr Kanganja said when the opposition leader attempted to go to a local Catholic church in Chingola District police only allowed 10 motor vehicles to proceed, However, more motor vehicles joined leading in an unlawful procession.
Mr Kanganja said police officers discharged tear smoke to disperse the crowd and at no point was live ammunition used as being insinuated in some statements circulating.
“Officers were only armed with riot guns and professionally dealt with the situation, as opposed to allegations that police are stopping the opposition party from campaigning, on Friday the same UPND political party campaigned in Ndola from 13:00 hours to 19:00 hours and Police Officers were patient enough to allow them conclude their activity, moreover the UPND did not notify police of their activities in Ndola,” he said.
He said Police received reports that cadres who were among the illegal crowd attacked any person that was seen wearing other political party’s regalia.
“Police learnt that the UPND leader who is in the Province was going to attend a church service in Mushili on Saturday and whilst at Church, bus loads were seen offloading cadres which resulted in a crowd forming and they later had a roadshow forcing their way into markets where they had illegal rallies, considering the area being a compound, Police were patient enough and allowed them to conclude their activities at about 18 00 hours after which police sealed the route passing through town forcing them to use alternative routes,” he said.
Mr Kanganja said at some time when Mr Hichilema was proceeding to Kitwe in a convoy of more than 100 motor vehicles, Police attempted to stop some motor vehicles for purposes of conducting security checks but they budged through a roadblock and stoned some traffic police officers using catapults.
“This resulted in Police discharging tear smoke at the unruly cadres and dispersed them, I also want to call on political parties to conduct their activities within the confines of the law,” he said.