Thursday, November 08, 2012

MMD, PF cadres in near punch-up in Mufumbwe

MMD, PF cadres in near punch-up in Mufumbwe
By Misheck Wangwe in Mufumbwe
Wed 07 Nov. 2012, 16:30 CAT

MMD and PF cadres almost exchanged punches at Mufumbwe Police Station when officers impounded a vehicle belonging to an MMD cadre who was allegedly delivering roofing sheets to voters.

The vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero registration number ABT 3739 that was carrying 10 iron sheets, was impounded in a ward called Munyambala by police after a tip-off that the MMD was distributing various items to the voters as a way of enticing them to vote for their candidate, Stafford Mulusa.

The PF officials led by provincial youth information and publicity vice-secretary Jackson Kungo and Brian Hapunda, among others, demanded that police takes action over the alleged breach of the law by the MMD cadres who were campaigning and dishing out gifts to the voters in Muyambala ward and the surrounding areas despite the close of the campaign period that came to an end yesterday at 06:00 hours.

MMD provincial executive committee secretary Emmanuel Chihili and Kikwaba had an altercation with the PF supporters that were with Yobe Banda, the district chairman for the PF in Solwezi, and almost exchanged punches at the police station before they were separated and dispersed by the police.

"Our people on the ground noticed that the MMD was dishing out an assortment of stuff to people and they saw this vehicle that belongs to the MMD carrying iron sheets that were being taken to a community school there in Munyambala. They notified the police and the police took action. The MMD's old tricks of cheating the people are gone and their malpractices will not work," said Kungo.

But MMD national youth secretary Tobias Kafumukache said the party would take legal action against the police over the allegations that the party was distributing iron sheets to voters.

"Police has confirmed that they have got proof, they have got pictures and everything. We hope to meet them in court so that they explain to us who issued the iron sheets and who bought the iron sheets because as MMD we have no clue whatsoever," he claimed.

When asked whether the vehicle belonged to the MMD or not, Kafumukache said the vehicle belonged to the party but the owner of the iron sheets was not known.
"It's very unprofessional for the police and the PF government that has acknowledged defeat in this election to make last-minute attempts to de-campaign our party," said Kafumukache.

North Western Province police commissioner Eugene Sibote confirmed that the 10 iron sheets had been impounded by police to pave way for thorough investigation in the matter.

Sibote appealed to both parties to maintain peace and avoid actions that would trigger violence ahead of tomorrow's by-election as the people of Mufumbwe were enjoying peace.

Meanwhile, a furious MMD cadre identified as Cephas Kikwaba almost hit Zambia Daily Mail photojournalist Angela Mwenda and ZNBC cameraman Kennedy Kanyembo with a walking stick for taking pictures of him and the vehicle that was impounded by the police.

The fuming Kikwaba was only restrained by police officers at the station who told him to respect the work of journalists who were at the station.

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