PF, UPND cadres clash, as HH successfully holds rally in Kabwata

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Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres this afternoon fought running battles at Kabwata Basic School grounds where the UPND was holding a public rally in Kabwata constituency.

And police has arrested six suspected PF cadres who were among cadres that attempted to disrupt the UPND rally at Kabwata Basic School grounds.

Heavily armed police, who were stationed around the premises however, managed to control the situation while two UPND cadres have been severely injured during the fracas that took place at about 13: 00 hours.

This was before UPND president Hakainde Hichilema arrived to address the rally.

At about 14:00 hours, the ground nearly became volatile again as two camps confronted each other fiercely but alert police quelled the situation.

The UPND rally was disturbed by the same confusion until 15:00 hours when party president Hakainde Hichilema arrived to address his supporters.

During the rally, Mr. Hichilema said his party has made history for having broken what he termed as imposing of an arbitrary Public Order Act.

Mr. Hichilema alleged that the police have been denying the opposition in the country permits to hold rallies, a situation he said was contrary to the demands of the sPublic Order Act.

He said the Public Order Act stipulates that those who would like to convene a meeting or hold a rally should just inform the police in writing within seven working days in order for the police to man the function.

“You see, the Public Order Act in this country is abused. Police just need notification within seven days informing them about the pending gathering in order for the law enforcement wing to ensure that there is peace,” Mr. Hichilema said.

He said this is the beginning of the freedom of assembling for the opposition to express to the Zambian people woes affecting their lives as well as providing checks and balances to the government.

He urged the opposition, nongovernmental organisations and civil societies across the country to start convening their meetings without fear as long they follow what is stipulated in Public Order Act.

He noted that there was intolerance of divergent views in the country noting that this was not good for democracy in the nation.

And speaking at the same rally, UPND vice president for administration Richard Kapita called on all Zambians across the country to stand up and defend their freedom of assembly and expression.

Mr. Kapita accused government of having failed the people of Zambia in many areas.

He said the people of Zambia were looking forward to seeing development of the Zambian economy in order to improve their lives.

Meanwhile, a political analyst Dante Saunders said Zambians were looking forward to seeing a constitution which was going to embrace the demands of the people such as the 50 + 1vote and the presidential running mate among others.

Mr. Saunders said a good constitution was paramount in a democratic nation such as Zambia and called on the PF government to speed up the process of coming up with a constitution which many Zambians were keenly waiting to see.

He said as a veteran politician and a freedom fighter, he was not going to stop pointing out whatever to government was not doing well.

Mr. Hichilema was accompanied to the rally by Mr. Kapita, party spokesperson Charles Kakoma, political analyst Dante Saunders, Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) president Edwin Sakala who was also flanked by his vice president Charles Kafumbo and some party members of parliament.

Other notable personalities at the rally were Mr. William Banda, Regina Musokotwani and some other senior party official