UPND CADRES ATTACK PF SECRETARIAT
By MUKWIMA CHILALA and SIMON MUNTEMBA
UNRULY UPND cadres yesterday ambushed the PF secretariat in an attempt to disrupt a press conference addressed by its vice president, Given Lubinda.
After being thwarted by alert PF youths who were manning the premises, the cadres went on rampage beating up innocent people in town and causing destruction to property.
The cadres allegedly also beat up a police officer whom they had captured and tried to trade him for the freedom of their colleagues in Kamwala area.
Efforts to get police confirmation proved futile.
The group of about 50 people clad in UPND regalia earlier descended on the PF secretariat while the party was having its press briefing threatening to disrupt the meeting.
The group was heard hurling insults at PF members who were found at the scene while threatening to torch everyone inside.
The “invaders” were however thwarted by a group of PF youths manning the place and arrival of police.
After failing to gain access to the building, the UPND cadres left but threatened to return with reinforcements and arming themselves.
They were later reported to have been beating up innocent people in the central business district.
And Mr Lubinda has challenged the ruling UPND to prove itself that it is not playing double standards in dealing with political violence by stopping cadres from torturing PF members.
Speaking at the press briefing yesterday, Mr Lubinda accused the ruling party of playing double standards in dealing with political violence. He questioned President Hakainde Hichilema’s commitment to stop political violence when UPND cadres have continued torturing PF members mercilessly.
Mr Lubinda said they were saddened with the video making rounds on social media where a PF member was shown being tortured by suspected UPND cadres.
President Bally, he said, please prove to me that you are not playing double standards. Prove that you are not condemning violence during day light but sending thugs in the darkness to torture our members with impunity.
Mr Lubinda disclosed that several PF members had gone into hiding for fear of being harassed and attacked by UPND cadres.
He said cases where PF members had complained against those UPND cadres harassing and torturing them had been buried without any action.
He also challenged the international community and the human rights commission representatives in Zambia to condemn the barbaric acts against PF members.
However,UPND national chairperson Stephen Katuka said the people recorded torturing a PF member were not UPND members.
Mr Katuka, who condemned the torture of a PF member called on the police to arrest the culprits without delay. He said the UPND would not support any form of violence regardless of who is involved.
Meanwhile, the victim Timothy Chikasa explained that he was picked by UPND members who came in a Toyota minibus and taken to an isolated place where he was mercilessly tortured.
Mr Chikasa said the UPND cadres took turns in whipping and kicking him before they cut his long hair with knives. He narrated that what was shown in the video that went viral was just a tip of an iceberg as he was brutally tortured beyond.
Mr Chikasa said the UPND cadres who demanded for money only let him free after his brother sent them K800 through Airtel mobile money.