Don’t dare us, Kanganja warns UPND

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:09:50 +0000

 

By Bennie Mundando

 

THE UPND should not dare the police by going ahead with its rally in Kanyama because if they are antagonistic the Zambia Police Service is equal to the task, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja warned yesterday.

Mr Kanganja said there were laid down procedures that should be followed if the opposition party was not satisfied with the police advice that they should not hold the rally because of the tense situation in the country.

‘‘But if they want to be confrontational over this issue, we are equal to the task,’’ the Police Inspector General said.

Last week, the UPND notified the police of its intention to hold a rally at Kanyama’s Twashuka grounds on 2nd April, 2017, saying they would deploy enough marshals to prevent any incidents of violence at the event.

But in response, Lusaka Province commissioner of police Nelson Phiri advised the party not to go ahead with the rally due to the unstable security situation in the city.

However, on Sunday UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his national youth spokesperson Gilbert Liswaniso vowed that the rally would go ahead, saying the party would not succumb to PF Lusaka Province youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba’s threats that there will be ‘‘war’’ if the police allowed the UPND to go ahead with the rally.

Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Kanganja warned the UPND to heed the advice of the police by refraining from holding the rally since they decided not to follow the police advice of engaging Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo as provided for in the Public Order Act (POA).

He said for the sake of maintaining peace, there was need for the UPND to abort its plans and follow laid down procedures even if they had grievances with the advice given by the Police Command.

Mr Kanganja warned that adamancy over the matter by the opposition political party would be dealt with accordingly, warning that police were equally prepared.

“They applied to us over the event and we advised them against going ahead due to security reasons. We told them that if they were not satisfied with our directive, they were free to engage with the minister according to the provisions of the POA and if still they were not satisfied, they would go to court and since they haven’t done so, we don’t expect them to go ahead with the rally.

“Our role is to maintain peace and we want peace to prevail at all cost. We cannot afford to be fighting all the time. We are urging them to stop being confrontational over the matter. We need peace to prevail in this country but if they will not listen, police are equal to the task. They should not dare us,” Mr. Kanganja said.

He appealed to UPND party members to stay away from the event in the spirit of maintaining peace until a time when the UPND would exhaust all procedures laid down for them to hold the meeting or at a time that the police will see that the security situation could allow the party to hold the rally.

“We appeal to people to stay away. This is not time to start opening old wounds because if they fail to observe what we have asked them to do, we will definitely put in measures to protect the people according to our mandate but our hope is that they won’t become unnecessarily confrontational over this matter,” he said.

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