Sunday, January 20, 2013

UPND apologises to police

UPND apologises to police
By Ernest Chanda
Sun 20 Jan. 2013, 10:23 CAT

THE UPND says it regrets the assault on a police officer by one of its cadres during the arrest of party leader Hakainde Hichilema on Thursday. And the PF in Lusaka says such violence by UPND on police was a dress rehearsal for violence during the forthcoming by-elections.

UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the party had written to Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani, apologising over the incident.

In an interview yesterday, Mweetwa said no civilised political party would tolerate acts of violence on the police or any citizen.

"Police is like home. At a particular time when it is night you have to go home and sleep. It's the same as police; police is a place where for us who are in politics always have to go to lodge complaints against others. We also have to be taken by others to police, so police is our second home. So, we wouldn't encourage a situation where our cadres can begin to stone police officers and this is why we are condemning this in the strongest terms regardless of who was involved," Mweetwa said.

"Regardless of who did that, that is unacceptable; we condemn this violence the same way we condemn the police when they unleash police brutality on defenceless and unarmed cadres or citizens. Either way the bottom line is that we are all citizens who enjoy human rights. And within that scheme of human rights, no one should be attacked at the hands of violence. The entire UPND leadership regrets that incident yesterday (Thursday)."

And in a letter to Libongani dated January 17, 2012, Mweetwa denounced the cadres who stoned constable Adam Banda after they considered him an intruder.

"As a party, we respect the rule of law. We regret the incident and categorically condemn in the strongest possible terms such acts of violence by any person against our men and women in uniform, and indeed against any citizen or person in this country. We wish to categorically state that the suspected culprit who is purported to be a UPND cadre is actually not one of us," claimed Mweetwa.
"We believe that the perpetrator took advantage of the occasion to try and tarnish the good image of our party. This is because our supporters or cadres respect our party philosophy of promoting and conducting none violent politics in Zambia. Further, as previous victims of police brutality and violence ourselves, we do not envy the police or others to suffer at the hands of violence. We wish the officer quick and speedy
recovery for him to resume duty and continue to serve our nation."

And Lusaka Province PF youth chairperson Kennedy Kamba accused the UPND of rehearsing for violence by revisiting the Mapatizya formula.

The Mapatizya formula is a term used to describe the violence that took place between the ruling MMD and UPND cadres during the 2003 Mapatizya parliamentary by-election, which was won by Ackson Sejani.

The violence saw over 10 people seriously injured prior to voting day.
Kamba said UPND had used Woodlands police station as testing ground for the formula.

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