Police and UPND cadres clashed on February 27th during the funeral procession of UPND member Grayzer Matapa who was killed at the weekend by suspected PF cadres in Lusaka’s Mtendere Township.
This was after Police tried to advise the UPND cadres who were carrying the casket on their shoulders from Ambassador St Annes to put it on a vehicle, a suggestion the cadres rejected sparking the confrontation.
The casket of the late Matapa was damaged in the ensuing fracas after it was dropped after Police fired teargas. A new coffin had to be bought in which to bury the slain UPND member.
The late Matapa has since been put to rest at Leopards Hill Memorial Park. UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was among the mourners.
And the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has described the clashes involving Police and UPND cadres carrying the coffin of the late Matapa as a distressing.
YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza says the police should have read the mood the UPND were in considering that they were mourning.
Mr Mwanza says it does not matter whether the cadres carried the coffin on their shoulders or in a vehicle.
Mr. Mwanza states that it is unfortunate that the Police went ahead and did the unthinkable disrespecting the dead.
He says the move by the Police was provocative and that they should desist from engaging in such taboos in the future.
Mr. Mwanza has since appealed to the Police command to ensure that they do not allow police officers to engage in provocative situations in a bid to promote peace and order in the country.