Police Fire Blank Shots & Tear Gas to Disperse Kanyama Residents

Police in Lusaka yesterday fired blank shots and teargas to disperse angry Kanyama residents that had turned up for an opposition UPND planned rally.

President Michael Sata had ordered the Zambia Police to block the rally and cops were deployed at Twashuka Basic School, venue of the meeting, as early as 04:00 AM on Sunday.

Over 1000 officers were present at the venue of the meeting contrary to an earlier statement that Zambia Police would not have manpower.

Some residents, however, were prepared to gather at the school and immediately they descended to the venue police fired blanks and dispersed them with teargas.

The UPND called off the meeting with its leader Hakainde Hichilema holding a press briefing at the part secretariat at which other opposition political party leaders that included Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda, Charles Milupi and Edwin Sakala attended.

“The police were determined to crush us. They managed to mobilise more than one thousand officer to make sure the rally doesn’t take place,” the UPND stated.

At a press briefing, Hichilema said there was an attempt to assassinate him and other opposition leaders at the rally, assertions defence minister Goeffrey Mwamba dismissed.

“It is a dark today. We have information that Dr Solomon Jere and one Judge Ngoma, who has been given a job at ZESCO, held a meeting to disrupt the UPND rally in Kanyama, we further have information that some [PF] cadres were carrying machetes to attack us at the rally,” he said.

Judge Ngoma was President Sata’s personal body guard who was involved in a movie-like abduction of a Patriotic Front critic during the time the party was in opposition and was found guilty of assault.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour but was one the many prisoners Sata released disregarding an appeal that was already before the Supreme Court.

The High Court judge who sentenced Ngoma has since been transferred from Lusaka to the Copperbelt, Emeria Sunkutu, as a way of frustrating her.

But Hichilema accused Lusaka Division Police Commissioner Solomon Jere of working with PF official Judge Ngoma to disrupt the UPND rally by attacking people at the rally grounds.

“Dr Jere, wearing a police uniform has defied the court order …so where shall we go to seek refuge? I put it to the press that Mr Sata has today signed a decree with the Police not to respect our laws of this country, this is not a light matter which has assaulted democracy,” Hichilema charged

He alleged that Dr Jere was working under directions from President Sata to disobey the Court order for UPND to hold the rally after police reversed its decision to allow the party to hold the rally yesterday.

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