By Brightwel Chabusha
Police have refuted allegations that they cancelled roadshows for UPND scheduled for Chelstone and Matero in Lusaka.
Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo stated that the allegations are misleading.
“Allegations that the Zambia Police cancelled road shows for UPND scheduled for Matero and Chelstone in Lusaka are not true and are misleading. As Zambia police, we are advising people from political parties who are in charge of organising party activities to be informing political party leaders the truth as opposed to lies with a view of creating acrimony,” Ms Katongo stated.
She stated that what transpired was that the UPND in Lusaka outlined in their notification numerous activities in form of road shows which they intend to undertake within Lusaka and presented the same to Lusaka Police District Office.
“It was there that they were advised to present their notification to respective Regulating Officers who are Officers in Charge of Police Stations in areas where they intended to undertake their public activities. This is what the law demands because Regulating Officers in respective areas are in a position to know activities that have been approved in their areas of jurisdiction to avoid clashes and they are the ones who police such events,” Ms Katongo stated.
She stated that all other political parties are presenting their notifications to Officers in Charge of Stations while the UPND decided to present theirs to the district police office.
“To state that police cancelled the UPND intended activities is misleading because one can only cancel that which was approved or allowed to go ahead.
We urge political parties to avoid engaging in schemes or acts that have potential to promote disunity or mistrust in public institutions on political grounds by maliciously spreading falsehood,” Ms Katongo stated.
She stated that police do not have any intention to deny any political party an opportunity to reach to the electorate.
“Police do understand and appreciate that this is time for campaigns, therefore do not have any intention to deny any political party an opportunity to reach out to the electorate. All what the police are calling for is for political parties to observe the provisions of the law that regulate public activities to avoid public disorder or commotion.
Police did not cancel any roadshow which the UPND intended to undertake. The party was advised to present their notifications to appropriate offices , in this case, Police Stations which is procedurally right,” Katongo stated.