POLICE in Mpika yesterday disrupted a Rainbow Party meeting and apprehended 17 members on allegations of meeting without a police permit.
This comes barely a week after Copperbelt police disrupted a Rainbow Party workshop in Kitwe without proper reason.
Rainbow Party Muchinga Province youth vice-chairman, Chola Chansa, said his colleagues were apprehended yesterday as they were mobilising members for a meeting.
“My friends have been apprehended for wanting to conduct a meeting. This happened around 10:00 hours yesterday. But it is sad that we no longer have freedom to associate anymore in Zambia but what surprises the most is that for PF, members are free to conduct meetings without even notifying the police,” said Chansa.
And Rainbow Party first deputy secretary general, Dr Cosmas Musumali, said it was very sad that the party was being blocked from conducting its activities.
“We are being blocked literally in every province now. In Kitwe on the Copperbelt, our workshop was disrupted. We couldn’t hold the workshop in Luanshya as well for similar reasons; in Chingola and now in Mpika, the meeting has been disrupted and people arrested,” said Dr Musumali. “The police went there with two landcruisers; and the PF cadres were also there. Our members were arrested on allegations that they had no police permit.”
Muchinga Province police commissioner, Auxensio Daka, confirmed the arrest of the 17 Rainbow Party members.
“Yes, we have arrested 17 Rainbow Party members who were illegally having a meeting. Right now, they are at Mpika Police Station and we are getting statements from them and very soon, we will be able to charge them,” said Daka.