According to reports published by Zambian Watchdog, the Zambian police are once again seeking to arrest opposition leader Nevers Mumba, president of the former ruling party Movement for Multiparty Democracy.
Allegedly, following an order by President Michael Sata to Copperbelt province police commissioner Mary Tembo to arrest Mumba for “defamation,” police in riot gear surrounded a church in Mpongwe where Pastor Mumba was believed to be located, and then entered the premise fully armed.
But the PF police did not know that Dr Mumba left Mpongwe on Saturday afternoon and was by that time in Livingstone to campaign for his other candidate in that part of the country.
When the police realised that he was not in the guest house, they were again misled by someone that he was at a local Baptist church. They drove to Kanyenda ward where some MMD officials were attending a church service.
The police surrounded the church while three of them desecrated the House of God by entering with guns and pretending to be praying as well.
The attempt to arrest Dr. Mumba comes at a particularly intense moment, as opposition parties prepare to contest two by-elections on Feb. 28 in Livingstone and Mpongwe.
According to people in the church, helicopters were hovering over the church while more police officers in riot gear trooped into the church ground.
One church goer complained that what kind of country Zambia has become where police can storm into churches to intimidate worshipers.
Since December, Nevers Mumba has been arrested three times by police on disputed grounds, and has been repeated prevented from organizing political rallies for his party. Mumba was one of several opposition leaders who participated in the February 12th press conference in Johannesburg during which a comprehensive report of rights violations was presented to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group requesting censure of the Zambian government.