Police in Livingstone have arrested five more United Party for National Development (UPND) members in connection with the suspected murder of a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre last night.
And Police in Livingstone are looking for UPND President Hakainde Hichilema to help with investigations in the suspected murder of a PF cadre in Livingstone yesterday.
Among UPND senior officials that were arrested yesterday are campaign manager for Livingstone parliamentary by-election, Garry Nkombo, Kalomo Member of Parliament, Request Muntanga, Livingstone UPND spokesperson Neto Halwabala and party election chairman Ackson Sejani.
Southern Province Commissioner of Police Charity Katanga said the total number of UPND members that have been arrested in connection with the murder of Henry Chanda, a Monze PF districts secretary is 17.
Last night, 12 UPND cadres were picked up in connection with the same case.
Ms. Katanga said Chanda was allegedly murdered by suspected UPND cadres in Elaine Brittell near the UPND campaign camp between 19:00 hours and 20:00 hours yesterday.
“I can confirm that we have arrested five more people apart from the 12 we arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of a PF official by the name of Mr. Henry Chanda,” she said.
Mrs. Katanga said information so far gathered by the police indicate that the man met his fate when a truck which PF cadres were using passed near the UPND camp where an unknown man emerged and allegedly hacked the deceased with a suspected machete.
The Southern Province Police Commissioner said investigations have since been instituted to ensure that all culprits are brought to book.
She explained that after searching the UPND camp, police found bricks, sticks, a knife and two machetes which were believed to have been used in the act.
She said it was unfortunate that such incidences were happening in the city and urged all political leaders to preach peace to avoid such sad occurrences.
Mrs. Katanga has urged Mr. Hichilema to present himself to the police to help with investigations in the matter.
Mrs. Katanga said police believe Mr. Hichilema was no exception in the case and was waiting for him to turn up to help police in their investigations.
“We have reason to believe that Mr. Hichilema is no exception in this case because he is on record to have encouraged his cadres to react when they saw the PF truck passing near the UPND camp,” Mrs Katanga said.
She said police have footage where Mr. Hichilema allegedly urged his members to react to any external forces after receiving information that some UPND members were being attacked.
She said Mr. Hichilema said this when he appeared on Zambezi FM Radio Station last evening adding that his statement could have incited violence.
Meanwhile, police have appealed to people of Livingstone to remain calm and vote peacefully despite what happened yesterday.
She said police would guarantee security to all the electorates.
And the Human Rights Commission has condemned the murder of Chanda saying the incident was a negation of democratic tenets which the multiparty system has adopted.
Human Rights Commission Chief Information, Education and Training Officer, Samuel Kasankha, said violence during election time must be ended.
Mr. Kasankha said political parties and other stakeholders must sensitise their members against using violence during elections.
Campaigns for Thursday’s parliamentary by-election in Livingstone and Mpongwe ended at 06:00 hours today.
The Livingstone seat fell vacant after incumbent MP, Howard Sikwela resigned from the UPND citing hostility in the party.
Lawrence Evans is contesting the seat on the PF ticket, Regina Musokotwane is standing on the UPND ticket while Fred Siasuntwe and Green Mwanang’ombe are for MMD and UNIP respectively.