By ANDREW MUKOMA
POLICE have not summoned UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and described planned protests by his supporters as unlawful.
Police public relations officer, Esther Katongo said Mr Hichilema was not among the people who have been asked to appear before Police for questioning.
“We wish to dispel reports that the opposition UPND leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema is among those summoned,” she said in a statement.
Ms Katongo also warned members planning to travel to Muchinga to give solidarity to their colleagues eho have been summoned risk committing an offence.
“Having monitored some social media posts in which some UPND officials are calling for people to go and give solidarity to those members of the UPND summoned by Police in Muchinga Province, we wish to advise them not to proceed as doing so will be tantamount to unlawful assembly and conducting an illegal procession which is against the law,” she said.
She said there was no need for sympathisers, in this regard, to come into conflict with the law. “As per our mandate of maintaining law and order in the country, we will be at hand to do just that.”
We therefore, she said, advise all those planning to travel to Muchinga Province for the above mentioned reason to rescind their decision.
And the opposition UPND in Southern Province has protested the reported summoning of Hakainde Hichilema by Mpika police for questioning over the abduction of police officers.
The police have however clarified that the UPND leader, Mr Hichilema was not among those summoned.
UPND said that the statement issued by Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo was alarming and had the potential to put the nation into chaos.
Southern province Chairman, Billiard Makwembo, accused Mr Kampyongo of being unpatriotic by linking Mr Hichilema to Mpika incidence.
He said that the Minister was creating unnecessary tension by implicating the UPND leader to the incident.
“We urge the Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo to be patriotic enough by avoiding creating unnecessary tension in the country through the police and implicating our dear president Hakainde Hichilema in lawlessness.
“We are concerned at the instructions from the high authority on the police’s continued harassment of our party president every time he wants to exercise his freedom of association, assembly and movement,” Mr Makwembo said.
He added: “This being the case, we are monitoring the scheme to implicate him on flimsy allegation by Mpika police.”
The Provincial Chairman stated that UPND was a democratic party and would continue being so.
Mr Makwembo said his party would always protect its leader from any form of attack.
By ANDREW MUKOMA