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THE UPND has regretted the attacks and verbal abuse former President Edgar Lungu suffered at the hands of the ruling party cadres when he attended the Malaila Traditional Ceremony of the Kunda people in Mambwe and has unreservedly apologised to the former head of State.

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Mr Mweetwa has admitted that former President Lungu was attacked and says the ruling party leadership is deeply sorry for the misconduct by individuals whom he said represented themselves as UPND cadres despite not having the blessings of the party.

Mr Mweetwa said the UPND should be blamed for the unruly conduct of its cadres, stating: “We cannot blame anyone but us over their actions because the buck stops at us.

Confusion reigned at the Malaila Traditional ceremony in Mambwe on Saturday after disruptive UPND cadres got helter-skelter, harassing Zambia’s six President Edgar Lungu, broke chairs, tables and harangued onlookers in an attempt to eject him from the ceremony arena.

Like phantoms, the UPND cadres emerged from the shadows soon after the former President arrived the arena of the Malaila ceremony, shouting invectives and demanding that the former head of State should leave the traditional ceremony.

Inspector General of Police Graphael Musamba when contacted about the attacks on former President Lungu described the assertions as nothing but an exaggerated rumour, while Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri confirmed the attacked but claimed it was done by some unknown angry youths.

But yesterday, Mr Mweetwa during a press briefing said that he had received a call from one of the individuals from Malambo who informed him that the attack on former President Lungu was some revenge for what President Hakainde Hichilema had gone through while in opposition.

He however said President Hichilema had forgiven former President Lungu for all the violence committed by the Patriotic Front (PF) while it was in power.

“HH (President Hichilema) has forgiven President Lungu for the atrocities committed to him personally and has said it is time to open a new page and forge ahead. The acts were uncalled for and the actions did not have the blessings from President Hakainde Hichilema and the party structures at large. We want to unreservedly apologise for the misconduct by some suspected cadres,” Mr Mwetwa said. Mr Mweetwa said the behaviour was not in conformity with what the party represented and that people were still drunk with power and should be forgiven.

He said whether the cadres were genuine UPND cadres or were sponsored, the ruling party would not condone lawlessness.

Mr Mweetwa said President Hichilema had been categorical and did not condone hooliganism and that anyone found wanting would face the law.

And Mr Mweetwa denied allegations that the UPND was using the police to muzzle and stifle operations of the opposition.

Mr Mweetwa said the party had worked so hard for too long to get into power and that they would not allow institutions like the police to decampaign them.

He said that he was a police officer and that he was aware that police officers had a habit of trying to appease the government of the day but this was not the way to go. 

And Mr Mweetwa has attributed the escalation of mealie meal prices in the country to what he termed huge demand of the commodity in the region.



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