By SIMON MUNTEMBA
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has complained of his senior party officials and supporters’ arrest during elections time.
Mr Hichilema said his party members were being denied their democratic right to freely sell their message to the electorates.
In a statement, Mr Hichilema who demanded for the immediate release from custody of their party deputy Secretary General Patrick Mucheleka and his colleagues from incarceration said the UPND was treated unfairly whenever there were elections.
“Each time there has been elections anywhere in the country, our senior party officials, supporters and members have been targeted for arrest with a view to intimidate and prevent them from carrying out their democratic right to freely exercise their freedom to sell their message to the electorates,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said the intolerance to dissenting opinions should not drive the ruling party into destroying the country’s cherished heritage by abusing government machinery such as the police and other institutions, which he said was unacceptable and must come to end.
Police have, however, insisted that only law breakers were arrested.
Northern Province Police Commissioner, Richard Mweene recently said the UPND deputy secretary and two other officials were arrested and charged for alleged aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property.
And New Congress Party president, Peter Chanda said Mr Hichilema must not cry foul for deliberately breaking the law.
Mr Chanda said, “Hakainde Hichilema has been advocating for lawlessness among his members and when the law catches up with them, he should not cry foul. Let him just change for the better and become a law abiding citizen.”
He also advised Mr Hichilema to tame his supporters who always want to take the law into their own hands during elections.
“HH must also tame his unruly supporters who always want to take the law on their hands during elections if they are to avoid being arrested,” Mr Chanda said.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA