Friday, November 14, 2008

Police revoke PF’s C/belt protest permit

Police revoke PF’s C/belt protest permit
Written by Speedwell Mupuchi
Friday, November 14, 2008 8:08:05 AM

POLICE on the Copperbelt have revoked the permit granted to opposition Patriotic Front (PF) to conduct peaceful demonstrations against the election of President Rupiah Banda.

The Kitwe demonstration was also meant to press for the removal of Dan Kalale as Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) director for allegedly presiding over fraudulent elections. Meanwhile, PF vice-president Guy Scott yesterday said Zambia was back to a police state.

PF sources in Kitwe and Scott confirmed that police had cancelled the demonstration, which was supposed to be held tomorrow on grounds that there was high tension, especially following the arrest of Radio Icengelo station manager Fr Frank Bwalya.

"Yes, they have cancelled the demonstration but get to the party on the Copperbelt to get more details," said Scott.

PF Copperbelt youth secretary Elias Kamanga when contacted said he was not aware of the cancellation as police had not communicated to him.

However, other party sources said police had told them to defer the demonstration to another date.

"They [police] are also proposing that instead of the demonstration, why not hold a public rally in Kitwe to be addressed by Mr Sata," said the source.

Police in Kitwe had granted a permit to the PF to demonstrate peacefully to press for a recount of the just-ended presidential poll.

But Scott yesterday accused home affairs minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha of putting pressure on the police to cancel the planned demonstration in Kitwe and the PF's Mandevu meeting in Lusaka on Sunday.

"How can a politician say he is surprised by the permit granted to us by the police? Politicians are now driving the police and we are back to the police state," said Scott.

Scott also said he had spoken to Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo over his attempt to defer the PF's Mandevu meeting scheduled for Sunday.

"All this is building up tension in the country, I don't see how it is diffusing tension," he said.

Scott said the police should grant the PF the permits because the peaceful demonstrations would reduce tension.

"The police should side with the law, with the people and not [Lt Gen] Shikapwasha who has not even been appointed by Rupiah Banda," said Scott.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home