POLICE in Sichili have arrested 19 United Party for National Development (UPND) members for being in possession of offensive weapons.
The police first arrested 18 of the opposition political party members around 22:00 hours on Monday after finding them with machetes and catapults. Another member of the party was arrested yesterday. They are detained at Sichili Police Post.
Also recovered was a Toyota Hilux registration number ABF 2741, at the UPND camp.
The UPND members illegally impounded a vehicle that was being driven by Lukulu district commissioner (DC) Morris Litula and extensively damaged it.
Western Province divisional criminal investigations officer Boniface Ngwira said police are yet to formally charge the suspects.
And from Lusaka, NANCY SIAME reports that police spokesperson Charity Chanda said two offensive weapons were recovered from a vehicle at the UPND camp.
“UPND cadres mobilised themselves and gave chase to a Toyota Hilux registration number ABF 2741, which they suspected to have been carrying the people who were involved in Monday’s shooting that left three cadres injured,” she said.
She said the cadres, who were using two vehicles, registration numbers ALZ 2695 and ALZ 1106, impounded the Toyota Hilux and drove it to their camp where they damaged it extensively.
“Officers who made a follow-up on the case found the three vehicles parked at the UPND camp and upon searching, one of the vehicles was found with two brand-new machetes,” Ms Chanda said.
Ms Chanda said the 19 include the driver of the vehicle in which the machetes were found and a UPND campaign manager.
She said investigations into the matter have continued.
Ms Chanda said more officers have since been deployed to the area to beef up security.
Meanwhile, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma admitted that UPND cadres had weapons but that PF members were also armed and was surprised that only their supporters were arrested, GIFT LUMANTO reports.
Mr Kakoma claimed that police are not being fair towards UPND cadres.
And PF deputy campaign manager Josephine Limata has condemned the violence that characterised the campaigns for yesterday’s parliamentary by-election.
Ms Limata, who was flanked by Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge, said the violence should be condemned as it could cause confusion in the country.
She said the people who are causing the confusion were brought in from other regions.