POLICE on the Copperbelt have warned and cautioned 14 people for allegedly trespassing on Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola last month and preventing former Matero member of Parliament (MP) Miles Sampa from alighting from a Proflight Zambia plane.
And Vice-President Inonge Wina says the abduction of government officials and journalists by suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) members in Bweengwa last Saturday is a serious criminal act which should attract stiff punishment.
Mr Sampa was scheduled to proceed to Kitwe for the launch of the Democratic Front (PF).
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said in Kitwe yesterday that police managed to capture registration numbers of the vehicles that the suspects used to ferry people to the airport and contacted the Road Transport and Safety Agency for their respective addresses.
Ms Katanga also said police also apprehended some people in connection with the fracas.
She, however, said police are still investigating the matter to bring more culprits to book for trying to endanger the lives of people at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport.
Ms Katanga was speaking in Kitwe yesterday during a tour of police stations in the district before holding a meeting with Copperbelt-based district commanding officers.
She said police officers should not spend time politicking because they have a noble duty to protect ordinary citizens.
Ms Katanga also urged political parties to acquaint themselves with the Public Order Act to avoid coming into conflict with the law during campaigns.
She also said police on the Copperbelt are ready to handle any eventualities that may arise during this year’s elections because they have adequate manpower.
Ms Katanga also said the police have intensified patrols in communities to safeguard the lives of residents but urged the private sector to supplement their efforts.
And Mrs Wina said the attack on innocent civil servants and journalists by suspected UPND cadres is a criminal offence and police should act swiftly to apprehend and prosecute all those behind the act.
The Vice-President said on arrival at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport here yesterday that the attack on the officers and journalists as well as the damage to vehicles is uncalled for and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
On Saturday suspected UPND cadres armed with spears, guns, machetes and stones abducted civil servants and journalists who went to attend and cover President Lungu’s rally in Bweengwa constituency.
“This act of violence has crossed boundaries from political players to innocent people. This is uncalled for and must be condemned by all,” she said.
Mrs Wina said this is the first time violence of such nature is taking place in Zambia.
She said every citizen has a duty to protect innocent people, especially journalists who are unarmed.
Mrs Wina said the attack could have been avoided had the UPND leadership sensitised their cadres on the need for non-violent behaviour.
She said the attack and abduction of journalists should be condemned by the UPND leadership.
The Vice-President said the assault in Bweengwa was caused by a few disgruntled people who should be easily identified and arrested.
Mrs Wina said the violent behaviour in Bweengwa has brought shame not only to the innocent people of that constituency but to the country as a whole.
“Perhaps time has come for political leaders to talk to each other and find lasting solutions to this scourge which has emerged. This phenomenon, if not properly handled, can lead us to a situation which is very unpleasant,” she said.