Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wynter must stop PF indiscipline - Lungu
By Kabanda Chulu
Mon 02 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba should come to the rescue of the PF and stop the increasing levels of indiscipline among members because he is the custodian of the party, says chairman of the party's disciplinary committee Edgar Lungu.

And police yesterday apprehended one suspect in connection with the violent conduct of some PF cadres who disrupted a meeting and beat up fellow PF members on Saturday.

Commenting on the matter, Lungu, who is also home affairs minister, said it was saddening to see a breakdown of law and order in the ruling party.

"Personally, I am worried about the trend where party members are at each other's throat. The SG secretary general Wynter Kabimba should take decisive action and stop this breakdown of law and order.

As Disciplinary Committee, we only respond to what has been brought before us. For instance, the SG can charge someone for breaking the rules and the aggrieved person then can seek our intervention," said Lungu.

"In this case, we cannot come in because we can assume the roles of judge and prosecutor. The SG is the custodian of the party, so he should come to the rescue of the PF and address the increasing levels of indiscipline among members."

Kabimba's mobile phone was switched off by press time while his deputy Bridget Atanga's phone went unanswered.

Chain-wielding and stone-throwing thugs believed to be supporters of defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba on Saturday destroyed windowpanes at Lusaka's Northmead High School and severely beat up fellow members who were holding a meeting to discuss the endorsement of President Michael Sata for the 2016 elections.

Six constituency officials from Chawama and Mandevu were among those beaten and rushed to the University Teaching Hospital for treatment. PF Mpulungu ward 23 councillor Christopher Shakafuswa was among the victims of the savage attack that left his unregistered Benz CE240 extensively damaged. Other councillors attacked were Norman Nyendwa for Ng'ombe ward, who was admitted to Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital, Given Lwinchi of Chainda ward and Chikutano Nkhoma of Northmead ward.

The thugs, believed to be from Intercity Bus Terminus and Town Centre, arrived at the school around midday as 'fellow' members were about to hold a press briefing to discuss the issue of endorsements and immediately started beating people and breaking windowpanes.

The thugs accused fellow members who gathered at Northmead High School of being against Mwamba.

Chairs, stones and chains were used in the attack, leaving a trail of destruction and injuries.

Frightened PF members dismantled the school gate as they scampered for safety.

PF officials at the meeting, which was to be graced by Lusaka district chairman Goodson Banda, abandoned the event following the attack.

The thugs walked from Intercity Bus Terminus through Bwinjimfumu Road to Great East Road, chanting anti-Post newspaper slogans and beating up curious onlookers. After harassing and beating up their colleagues at Northmead High School, the cadres marched to State House, demanding to meet President Sata.

But police officers dispersed them as they had not made any appointment to meet the head of state.

The Post has footage of the group that marched through Bwinjimfumu Road while insulting its editor in chief Fred M'membe.

And police deputy public relations officer Rae Hamoonga confirmed that one male suspect was being held at Emmasdale Police Station for questioning.

"We are actively investigating this matter and we have apprehended one suspect for questioning. He is helping us with investigations. I can't disclose his names because we have not formally charged him but we are merely questioning him," said Hamoonga.

"I wish to take this opportunity to advise people to be wary of the laws governing this country because police will not hesitate to arrest anyone failing to observe the law whether they are politicians or not."

On Thursday, a group of youths who identified themselves as Mwamba's supporters stormed The Post Newspapers offices to protest what they termed negative coverage of the defence minister.

The seven-member group was, however, asked by security to select a representative to speak to the reporters while the others waited outside the premises.

Group leader, Victor Chola, who was accompanied into the offices by another youth identified as Nelson, said it was becoming increasingly embarrassing for their leader, Mwamba, who always received massive publicity for the wrong reasons.

"We are not happy about Mwamba's issue and we would to like to warn you. So you should stop this kind of coverage. Let us work together so that the President Micheal Sata can work freely," said Chola.

"We have not come to insult you here. We love you but... this should not continue because if it does, we will bring our mattresses here and sleep here so that you can sell your paper well. If you want, tell Mwamba to invest by buying shares in your paper because you know that when you cover GBM, each and every Zambian will want to buy a copy and read what he has said."

And on Friday, the same individuals stormed The Post, but were sent away by the security officers because they were speaking on top of their voices, insulting some employees who tried to reason with them.

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