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Police in full riot gear yesterday  sealed off Changanamai Grounds in Kitwe, to prevent the opposition UPND from going ahead with a public rally which has been cancelled by authorities.

As early as 08:00hrs yesterday, riot Police were deployed at all entry points to the grounds in Kwacha Township.

Later, dozens of Police re-enforcements armed with teargas canisters and short buttons arrived on the scene.

A newly acquired Police water cannon truck was also deployed at the grounds to quell any attempt by UPND cadres to go ahead with their rally.

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Elias Chushi, who is on site, has told ZNBC News that the heavy Police deployment at the Changanamai Grounds is meant to avoid any public gathering.

Mr Chushi said Police were on the ground enforcing the health guidelines against Covid-19 which were announced recently.

He revealed that apart from sealing off Changanamai Grounds, Police  were  also conducting patrols in various townships in Kitwe to prevent any public gatherings.

Last week, the UPND announced that party President Hakainde Hichilema will address a public rally at Changanamai Grounds to launch his 2021 bid.

But the Copperbelt Division of the Zambia Police Service later advised the opposition party not to go ahead with the rally due to covid-19 guidelines.

But the party later advised its members that the rally would go ahead as scheduled with strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.

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