According to police reports from the Livingstone by-election campaigns, the United Party for National Development (UPND) campaign manager Gary NKombo has become the latest victim of what is being perceived as oppressive charges for allegedly defaming President Michael Sata on Sunday.
During campaigns for by-election in Livingstone, Nkombo is alleged to have made derogatory statements in describing President Sata's regime thereby attracting a complaint from ruling Patriotic Front cadres.
It is unclear what Nkombo, the Mazabuka lawmaker said, but police in Livingstone have proceeded to record a warn and caution statement in opening a docket to prosecute the politician.
UPND is fielding Regina Musokotwane while the PF candidate is Lawrence Evans with MMD settling for Fred Siasuntwe.
Nkombo becomes the second senior UPND leader to be cautioned for defamation of President Sata in what critics allege is a crackdown on the freedom of expression in the country.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is already appearing before court for alleged defamation following remarks he made during a tour of Lusaka township suggesting that President Sata was shielding his party Secretary General Wynter Kabimba from anti-corruption prosecution.
President Sata is on record warning the Anti Corruption Commission against investigating and let alone interrogating his ministers without first informing him of the process. Kabimba is accused of corruption allegations in the government tender of a multi-billion kwacha oil deal with Trafigura.
Appearing before the police in Livingstone yesterday, Nkombo said his charges were politically motivated and has vowed to meet the PF cadres in court.
He said the charges were imaginary after the PF realised they are losing the by-election set for February 28.Southern Province police commissioner Joyce Katanga confirmed recording the warn and caution of Nkombo under section 9, chapter 96 of the laws of Zambia.
The complaint was lodged by PF cadres at Livingstone Central Police station alleging Nkombo defamed President Sata during a UPND campaign rally at a Community School on Sunday.