Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:32:46 +0000
By BENNIE MUNDANDO
POLICE have cancelled a planned UPND card renewal exercise which was slated for Saturday 17th February in Eastern Province over security concerns saying it does not have enough manpower to man the event, hence the advice to the UPND not to go ahead.
According to the UPND, the exercise was initially slated to take place last Saturday but was moved to this coming weekend before the police cancelled the programme for security reasons.
This has however infuriated the UPND who have told off the police command saying the cancellation had nothing to do with its security as the UPND had its own “marshals”.
Deputy secretary general for politics Patrick Mucheleka yesterday complained about the police’s decision, describing it as a violation of human rights as his party did not need police presence for its members to enjoy fundamental rights under the Constitution.
“We wish to state that the position taken by the police is baseless as we do not need police presence for us to enjoy our rights to assembly and to association. We do not need police presence to enjoy our fundamental rights under the Constitution.
“We also wish to point out that we always provide our own marshals to maintain law and order as provided for under the Public Order Act. The police decision is also biased because at a time they are blocking us from visiting Eastern Province, they have allowed the Patriotic Front secretary general Davies Mwila to go ahead and mobilise his party in the same province,” Mr. Mucheleka said.
He accused the ruling PF of engineering the cancellation as they were scared of his party and appealed to the police to be professional in the way they handled political issues and avoid being used.
“It is sad that fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens have continued to be violated at a time when the international community is facilitating a meaningful dialogue process in the country. We are aware that the PF are so scared of the UPND’s growing popularity. Everyone, today knows that PF is finished and there is nothing remaining for them. Even if they go to Eastern Province, the UPND has already penetrated that province.
“The people of Eastern Province have suffered a lot especially the farmers who have been receiving agro inputs late. To add salt to injury, hospitals and clinics have no drugs. Poverty levels are extremely high. The people of Zambia need food on the table and not the poor PF leadership which has plunged the nation into problems,” he said.