26 February 2013

Zambia: UPND Condemns Livingstone Violence, Blames PF

Photo: CDDR-zambia
(File photo) Zambian police beat and teargas opposition protesters.

Following reports that a suspected Patriotic Front cadre imported from Lusaka to Livingstone has died in clashes with the opposition, United Party for National Development (UPND) has issued a statement condemning the violence but blamed the ruling party.

UPND leadership held a press briefing in Lusaka this morning stating the violence is regrettable but asked the nation to reflect on the pattern of the clashes in previous elections blaming the latest incident on the PF.

According to the statement, PF cadres attacked the UPND campaign centre with the view of torching the makeshift structures.

Below is the statement from UPND

Livingstone Violence

The violence that occurred in Livingstone over the past 2 days is sad and regrettable. The death that resulted from that violence is equally sad and should have been avoided. This calls for serious reflection. On our part we condemn this violence.

There has been an aggressive campaign to taint our party as a violent party. PF has even tried to provoke us towards violence. We have restrained ourselves as much as possible. When we held our rally in Kabwata last month, PF sent a pack of drunk thugs to attack us. Thank God the police quickly moved in and violence was averted. But not before a number of people were injured.

Earlier during a Rufunsa ward election, a youth by the name of Menyani Zulu was murdered and blame was again put on us. Our Chairman for Lusaka province Amb. Bauleni was detained for at least two weeks but later when it was clear that he had nothing to do with that death. At the beginning of the Livingstone campaign a house boy to honourable Mwaliteta was found dead. Justice minister Wynter Kabimba accussed us of that death. Todate police have not charged anyone for that death.

Even in Livingstone, the situation has been the same. Yesterday PF cadres were brought to our campaign centre in GRZ vehicles. The camp was surrounded by PF thugs throwing stones at our members.

We appeal to law enforcement officers to carry out thorough investigations and ensure that offenders are brought to book. Our members (including president HH) will give full cooperation to ensure a complete investigation.

This violence can only end if the police start arresting, charging and prosecuting the real culprits. In the Menyani Zulu death, police did clearly indicate that violence was started by the PF and that Zulu was actually killed by his fellow PF cadres. But there was no follow-up. We urge the police to do the right thing this time round.

United Party for National Development

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