Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

24 January 2013

Zambia: UPND to Defy Police On Kabwata Rally

UPND has vowed to hold a rally in Kabwata on Sunday as earlier planned despite the police rejecting their application for a go-ahead.

Party deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the rally will proceed as scheduled because police has not given then reasonable excuse to deny them a permit.

"I think the Zambia Police should apologise to us for branding us, UPND as a party that is incapable of holding a public rally because of violence. We find this not only tarnishing the image of the party but also highly defamatory to the integrity, persona and good character of the leadership of UPND," Mweetwa said.

The UPND had applied for permission to hold a rally in Kabwata this Sunday but police has rejected it arguing the assault on the police at Woodlands Police Station last week when party president Hakainde Hichilema was summoned does no guarantee a peaceful meeting.

Police, under instructions from President Michael Sata, are denying opposition leaders and their members from exercising their fundamental human rights of assembly.

Both UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and MMD's Nevers Mumba are facings charges of unlawful assembly for exercising the freedom of association.

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