Police in Solwezi have arrested 15 UPND cadres from Chawama area for riotous behaviour after they attacked the presidential motorcade on Saturday during President Edgar Lungu’s visit to North –Western Province.
But UPND in North-western Province has refuted claims that the 15 arrested by police are members of the opposition political party.
North-western Province Deputy Commissioner of Police Geoffrey Kunda confirmed the arrest to the Daily Nation. “It is criminal to attack the presidential motorcade because it is a threat to the president and other citizens,” he said.
He said the 15 were among other Chawama residents who threw stones, booed and flashed UPND symbol at the presidential motorcade. Mr. Kunda said the 15 are still in police custody and are expected to appear in court soon.
He warned that Police would take stern action against perpetrators of lawlessness.
“The Police will not allow citizens in Solwezi to break the law without consequences,” Mr Kunda said.
But UPND in North-western Province has distanced itself from members who have been arrested.
UPND North-western provincial vice chairperson Mark Kalemba denied responsibility for mobilizing the crowd that threw stones at President Edgar Lungu at Solwezi Chawama market.
“We did not plant any of our cadres to attack the president, the citizenry acted on their own accord without any influence from the party,” he said
Kalemba said it was disrespectful and unfortunate that the residents attacked the Presidential motorcade.
He said the UPND believed in abiding by the rule of law and could not perpetuate violence towards the head of State and his party members.
Mr Kalemba said the people in Chawama were acting based on mob reaction to express their displeasure.
“The people were trying to show their displeasure with the lack of development and poor governance,” he said.
Mr Kalemba accused the president’s security wings of failing in their duties and endangering the life of the head of state.
“The entire system including the advance party has of late been weak and negligent in carrying out their duties,” he said.