Kitwe police arrest, warn and caution Chipimo


POLICE in Kitwe yesterday recorded a warn-and-caution statement from National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo for unlawful assembly.
Mr Chipimo, who was holding a workshop at Provident Guest House, was picked up by police officers in riot gear and taken to Kitwe Central Police, where he was detained for more than three hours.
He was only released around 13:00 hours amid cheers from his party members who had gathered at the police station to give him solidarity.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Mary Tembo confirmed the incident yesterday but refuted reports that the opposition leader was arrested and detained at Kitwe Central Police Station.
Ms Tembo said Mr Chipimo was only picked up by the police for interviews.
“It is not true that Mr Chipimo was arrested and detained at Kitwe Central Police Station. We only picked him up so that we could interview him on the meeting he had at Provident Guest House,” she said.
And police sources in Kitwe said a warn-and-caution statement was recorded from Mr Chipimo.
They said Mr Chipimo was picked up because he had no clearance from the police to hold a workshop for his party members, in accordance with the law.
And speaking to journalists after being released, Mr Chipimo said police recorded a warn-and-caution statement from him for unlawful assembly.
“I was picked up this morning from Provident Guest House by police officers. They have recorded a warn-and-caution statement from me for unlawful assembly,” he said.
Mr Chipimo said he was at Provident Guest House attending a workshop where he was encouraging his members to strengthen party structures.
He, however, commended police officers in Kitwe for exhibiting high levels of professionalism during his questioning.
Mr Chipimo was in the company of his deputy Charles Maboshe, national chairman Joseph Mushalika and other senior party officials.