Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

25 January 2013

Zambia: PF Panics Over UPND Kabwata Rally

The Ministry of Home Affairs is panicking over the UPND's decision to hold a public rally in Kabwata on Sunday despite police refusing them a permit.

Home affairs deputy minister Nixon Chilangwa has said failure to heed advise will prove that UPND want to be confrontational with police.

Chilangwa says UPND should not be seen to be fighting the police because that strategy will not just work for them.

Lusaka Province police commissioner Joyce Kasosa says police has not granted permission to UPND to hold the rally because the atmosphere is not conducive. This followed the assault of a police officer at Woodlands Police Station by alleged UPND cadres.

Kasosa says UPND should engage police in a dialogue to determine the possibility of holding a rally at a later date and not on Sunday.

Meanwhile, home affairs public relations officer Moses Suwali says the UPND party leadership will blame themselves for the impending consequences. Suwali says UPND will face stiff consequences if it decide to go ahead with the rally in Kabwata and advised them to dialogue with police instead of taking a confrontational stance

But UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says it is wrong for the police to continue denying his party to hold public rallies in the country. He said this is the 11th application that the police has denied UPND permit to hold a public meeting.

"We have the right which right we do not request from the PF. These rights are given to us by birth. By us being human beings, we are entitled to these rights," Hichilema said.

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