22 February 2013

Zambia: Narep Mpongwe Candidate Held for Assault

NATIONAL Revolutionary Party (NAREP) Mpongwe parliamentary by-election candidate Raphael Ndlovu has been arrested and charged with assault and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

Mr Ndlovu was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a Patriotic Front (PF) supporter whom he accused of tearing his campaign posters and has since appeared in the Luanshya magistrate's court.

But Mr Ndlovu said he is unfazed by his arrest and subsequent appearance in court on Monday where his matter was adjourned to April.

He said the arrest was on flimsy assault charges that he described as a 'sheer act of intimidation' from his political opponents.

The NAREP candidate said he was the aggrieved person after a Mr Julius Kachimba allegedly tore his campaign posters but ended up paying the price when he was locked up after an altercation at Mpongwe Police.

"I was there reporting the case that the youth I sent to put my campaign posters reported to me that a PF supporter had threatened to remove them. In the process the culprit appeared and somehow I got locked up," he said.

Mr Ndlovu said it was evident that his arrest was a premeditated ploy to intimidate him out of the race given that his case was quickly transferred to Luanshya in a bid to take him further away from his supporters.

The aspiring parliamentarian vowed to overcome all the adversity being thrown at him to emerge winner after the February 28 poll adding that State institutions like the police must be professional and non-partisan.

Mr Ndlovu said he would continue with his campaign programme to reach out to all corners of the vast constituency and that his strength among the five candidates lay in the fact that he is the only proverbial new broom.

The Mpongwe seat fell vacant following the resignation of Gabriel Namulambe from MMD to join PF. The former MP is re-contesting the seat on the PF ticket.

MMD is fielding Miniver Mutesa, while UNIP has Ken Kuveya and UPND is fielding Rabson Chilufya.

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