Friday, June 29, 2012

L/stone cops to probe attack on mourners

L/stone cops to probe attack on mourners
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone and Kombe Chimpinde in Lusaka
Fri 29 June 2012, 13:23 CAT

SOUTHERN Province deputy commissioner Fred Mutondo says the police are investigating the attack on a funeral procession allegedly committed by the UPND in which three women were injured.

And the PF in Lusaka has accused former MMD provincial chairman William Banda of organising and ferrying Lusaka-based cadres to Chama North and Livingstone to cause commotion ahead of the July 5 by-elections.

In an interview, Mutondo said the police had received a report on the matter although he could not confirm whether or not it was UPND cadres behind the attack.

But police sources have revealed that the people behind the attack were UPND cadres.

"We have the matter as it was reported to the central police station and it is being followed up thoroughly. I can confirm that people were attacked and three people were injured in the scuffle. We hear that there were a lot of vehicles so we can't tell who really attacked them," Mutondo said.

A police source confirmed that the reported assault was committed by UPND cadres at the junction of Kaunda Road and Maramba Road at a place known as A 1.

And in an interview at her residence in Maramba's Malota area, Susan Zulu, 41, one of the victims, said the UPND cadres who were in a convoy led by their leader Hakainde Hichilema's vehicle blocked and surrounded their vehicle and started beating the mourners.

"We pleaded with them that we were from a funeral and that we were not on a political campaign, but they would not listen. They started by beating my friend, Angela Nyambe of MA 229 with a hosepipe on her back and came for me and others. They had weapons in their pockets and pieces of hosepipe," Zulu said.

Also injured in Tuesday's attack were Samson Nguni of MC 176 and Charity Nguni of MA 227.

And PF provincial chairman Kennedy Kamba said he was dismayed that Banda who had since defected to the UPND has not abandoned his violent way of politics exhibited when he was in the MMD.

But Banda has threatened those making the accusations with litigation.

"I am aware that through the tactics of William Banda, the UPND have hired cadres who are behaving like thugs and ferried them to Chama and Livingstone. This is why these cadres are harassing innocent people who they are mistaking for PF cadres," he said.

Kamba said PF youths would not retaliate by ferrying cadres from Lusaka or Copperbelt but that they would allow the law to take its course.

But Banda said he was shocked that people still associated him with violence.

"People want to bring stupid dirty things to me. Ask MMD. They are the ones that are ferrying cadres. See, I don't like these stupid allegations and those that are making them are very foolish," Banda said. "One of these days I will take someone to court for such accusations."

Banda said that he was busy and did not want to pre-occupy himself with responding to the PF and their allegations.

He said although the UPND and MMD were working together in the Livingstone and Chama North by-elections, the two parties were not campaigning together and held separate activities.

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