UPND candidate in the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election Patrick Mucheleka has gone into hiding.
Mr Mucheleka is being sought by Police for allegedly inciting UPND cadres who beat up newly appointed Luwingu district Commissioner Patrick Chanda for allegedly mobilizing voters for the ruling party candidate George Mwamba.
He has told QFM News in a telephone interview from his hideout that he is awaiting instructions from his lawyers before he can avail himself to the police.
Mr. Mucheleka has denied inciting UPND cadres to beat up the newly appointed Luwingu district commissioner.
He says what the PF through the Police are doing is trying to intimidate the opposition after realizing that they do not have the support of the people of Lubansenshi.
Mr. Mucheleka states that the ruling is aware that they have a terrible candidate who has been rejected by the people as the people are overwhelmingly supporting him and the UPND.
And FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenze says reports from FODEP monitors in Lubansenshi indicate that Police last night raided and tear-gassed Luena Parish in Lubansenshi in search of Mr Mucheleka.
Mr Chipenzi says five suspected UPND cadres and one person found in possession of eight voters’ cards have been arrested by the police leaving the District Commissioner scot-free.
He says it will be unfair and unprofessional on the part of the police to leave the District Commissioner who caused the electoral mayhem in Lubansenshi and only pursue those who tried to remind the DC to respect his role as a civil servant and also adhere to the Presidential directive.
Mr Chipenzi adds that Police should also restrain themselves from raiding places of worship as it is against international practice to raid such places which are considered sacred.
He furthers states that Police should immediately stop pursuing Mr. Mucheleka who is candidate in this by-election before they are blamed for aiding other candidates to rob him of electoral victory.
Mr Chipenzi says FODEP calls on the Police to instead arrest the District Commissioner who engaged in active political campaigns disregarding the Presidential and Vice-Presidential direction instructing civil servants including DCs not to engage in partisan politics.
He states that FODEP condemns the use of District Commissioners and police to win bye-elections as witnessed in Livingstone, Mulobezi, Mangango and now Lubansenshi as it denigrate the principles of a fair playing field in the electoral process.