POLICE yesterday questioned United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and used their discretion not to arrest him for breaching the Public Order Act last week.
Lusaka Province commissioner of police Charity Katanga told journalists shortly after Mr Hichilema was interviewed that the police have urged the opposition leader to abide by the provisions of the Public Order Act.
Mr Hichilema has agreed to abide by the law.
“We have asked Mr Hichilema to make an undertaking in writing that in future he will abide by the provisions of the law. The undertaking will be on the UPND headed paper and will be signed by Mr Hichilema and his secretary general,” Ms Katanga said.
She clarified that police summoned Mr Hichilema not because he had visited a market but because of a fracas involving UPND cadres that occurred in Kamwala.
“A line should be drawn between mere visiting and politicking. When he (Mr Hichilema) wants to do politics, he must notify us just like any other person who attracts a following,” Ms Katanga said.
He said police elected not to charge Mr Hichilema despite the fact that he had allegedly breached the Public Order Act.
“There was a docket that was opened against Mr Hichilema by some members of the public after the fracas in Kamwala but an arrest is not always necessary and we have not charged him.
“We have talked to him in the presence of his lawyers and he has agreed to follow the law,” Ms Katanga said.
Earlier, UPND cadres who were barred from entering Kabwata Police Station premises taunted police officers and threw objects at them.
Mr Hichilema was accompanied by lawyers Chad Muleza, Martha Mushipe, Jack Mwiimbu and several UPND members of Parliament.
And Mr Mwiimbu, who spoke on behalf of Mr Hichilema, said police had cordial discussions with Mr Hichilema.
“The matter has been resolved and in future we will inform police. We agreed to abide by the provisions of the POA,” Mr Mwiimbu said.
Meanwhile, a Daily Nation reporter Wallen Simwaka, was detained in police cells for 30 minutes after an altercation with police officers who attempted to bar him from covering the event.
“One overzealous police officer accused me of having conducted myself wrongly after I challenged him over his refusal to allow me entry,” Mr Simwaka said after his release from police cells.