UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) and Patriotic Front (PF) cadres clashed in Livingstone on Saturday, resulting in injuries and damage to a vehicle.
The cadres clashed in Maramba during campaigns for this Thursday’s Livingstone parliamentary by-election.
Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu described the violence as regrettable.
Mr Lungu was speaking in Livingstone yesterday at a media briefing attended by PF and UPND officials who included PF southern province political secretary Brian Hapunda and UPND Livingstone parliamentary by-election campaign manager Garry Nkombo.
The clashes, which left eight injured and a smashed vehicle, happened as the two groups were coming from their rallies.
President Sata held a rally at Villa grounds to drum up support for PF candidate Evans Lawrence while UPND president Hakainde Hichilema held his meeting in Maramba to campaign for Regina Musokotwane.
Mr Lungu urged police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring the culprits to book.
He said Government will not tolerate political violence and urged all political parties to conduct peaceful campaigns.
“The UPND and PF held public rallies in Maramba and Dambwa on Saturday but after President Sata concluded his meeting and left town, an ugly scene occurred in the area where the UPND held their meeting.
“Police are still investigating what actually transpired but we are here to see the way forward because no Zambian should shed blood just because someone else wants to go to Parliament or to become a leader,” he said.
Mr Lungu said representatives from both parties have resolved to preach peace to their members during the campaigns while “police get to the bottom of what transpired”.
And Southern Province commissioner of police Charity Katanga said police are investigating the matter but that no arrests have been made.
Ms Katanga said the eight assault cases have been reported by both PF and UPND supporters.
“We have eight assault occasioning actual bodily harm cases that have been reported from the violence that occurred yesterday and one case of malicious damage of a vehicle belonging to the UPND,” she said.
In a separate incident, Ms Katanga said police in Livingstone yesterday intercepted a truck laden with bicycles allegedly meant to be distributed to the electorate.
She said the truck, which was heading towards Sesheke, was intercepted at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) checkpoint.
“We received a report from the PF that there was someone ferrying bicycles towards Sesheke which they suspected were meant to be distributed to voters.
“The driver claims they belong to the Zambia Red Cross but police are yet to establish the owners of the bicycles,” Ms Katanga said.
Meanwhile, police have banned the holding of political rallies in Livingstone following incidents of violence, deputy Inspector General of Police Solomon Jere said in an interview with ZNBC.