Police teargas and beat up UPND members ahead of Solwezi poll

Filed under: Statements |

picRiots broke out in Manyama area in Solwezi after Police descended on UPND members who were attending the party’s final rally ahead of today’s parliamentary by election.

The members however managed to rescue UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who was addressing the rally.

Onlookers narrated how police in full riot gear descended on the UPND members and started beating up for attending rally which they claimed was illegal.

According to the ECZ guidelines, the official campaign period was due to end at 18 ours local time.

The residents took offence and fought running battles with the Police who kept on firing teargas canisters.

Later on police followed the UPND members in their villages and picked up several of them.

And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in his Facebook posting confirmed the attacks on his members.

“Our hearts and prayers go to our people who peacefully assembled for this Manyama meeting in Solwezi only to be savagely disrupted using teargas. I cannot even imagine the condition of some of our people especially babies on the backs of their mothers being teargassed and live ammunition being used, probably injuring people,” Mr Hichilema wrote.

He added, “Even when our people went to the alternative rally venue, Police again disrupted our meeting despite having notified them. We are all in teargas now.”

Mr Hichilema said this shall no longer be accepted in Zambia as such actions have the potential to destabilise the peace and unity.

“This Country has more serious things to fight such as economic downturn, power cuts, job losses, high cost of leaving than killing our citizens in this manner.”

Mr Hichilema said this is the kind of lawlessness this country has been reduced to.

“We don’t understand why our peaceful and defenceless citizens can be disrupted and be blocked from listening to our messages. The conduct of police in these elections has been very unacceptable to say the least and people’s patience is running out. We know and are fully briefed that they want to intimidate voters once more in these elections. We can’t accept this any longer fellow citizens.”