UPND – Police Clash Leaves 2 Injured.
TWO people were seriously injured in Lusaka yesterday when police dispersed a protest by United Party for National Development ( UPND) cadres against the cancellation of a political rally in Chawama Township.
Police fought running battles with the cadres in the populous township causing traffic jams around town and surrounding areas.
The unrest spread to the south end of Lusaka’s central business district.
UTH spokesperson Mwenya Mulenga confirmed having received two people with multiple injuries.
Mr Mulenga said in an interview that the victims were in a stable condition although they were still receiving treatment by press time.
“ Yes, I can confirm that we received two males with multiple injuries between 15 and 16: 00 hours. They were brought in this afternoon [ yesterday]. They are still admitted. I cannot confirm that they were injured in the fracas, all I can say for now is that we suspect they were injured around Kamwala area,” Mr Mulenga said.
A check by the Daily Mail around Kamwala trading area around 15: 00 hours revealed a traffic jam where vehicles could neither get into nor out of town using Independence Avenue.
“ Don’t go beyond this point because the UPND cadres are stoning everyone who has some Patriotic Front ( PF) regalia or indeed in their vehicle,” a vendor, Amos Phiri, found on Independence Avenue near the Kafue roundabout, warned the Daily Mail crew.
Police in riot gear gave instructions for motorists to use alternative routes.
Another vendor who opted to remain anonymous said he had witnessed some suspected UPND cadres grabbing walkie talkies that the police were using before some vehicles were smashed in the process.
He said the situation at some point was nearly getting out of hand but quick action by police managed to bring the situation back to normal.
Later, as the Zed Corner crew was negotiating to get out of the jammed traffic in the Kamwala trading area, a light Canter truck pasted with UPND campaign material was led by a police vehicle to the Central Police Station.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the police had cancelled the rally without giving the opposition party any reasons, CHOMBA MUSIKA reports.
“ We followed all the procedures and notified them in time, but they cancelled the rally without giving any reasons,” Mr Kakoma said.
He accused police of brutalising UPND members who had gone to attend the rally without knowing that it had been cancelled.
Efforts to get a comment from police failed as phones went answered.
But sources at the Lusaka Central Police Station said the rally was cancelled because of security concerns.