HH warned against defying rally orders

Hakainde Hichilema - HH
Hakainde Hichilema - HH

THE Zambia Police will not allow any opposition political party to defy guidelines on holding rallies or meetings.
Home Affairs spokesperson Moses Suwali said allowing the opposition to hold rallies against police advice will be allowing anarchy.
In an interview yesterday in reaction to United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema’s decision to defy police advice on his meetings in Eastern Province, Mr Suwali said the law was clear and would be upheld.
Mr Suwali advised the opposition not to be confrontational even if they were aggrieved as this was a recipe for political turmoil.
He said in an interview that it was in the public domain that some of the areas Mr Hichilema wanted to hold rallies in were still subject to a court process and that going ahead with meetings in such areas would be going against the Electoral Code.
“They should not be confrontational in such issues, I called Ms Chipalila who confirmed that some of the places are those with issues in court, this is clear. Being confrontational might put the nation at risk of political violence, let’s not take advantage of the peace being enjoyed,” he said.
He said his ministry was entrusted with ensuring that law and order was maintained and that anything outside the law had its own stipulated consequences.
Mr Suwali said all political parties should be abreast with the law to avoid political violence, adding that political parties should be engaging the police constructively in such matters.
But Mr Hichilema has gone ahead with his 10 days meetings in Eastern Province which started yesterday despite the cancellation of the earlier permit issued by Eastern Province Commissioner Grace Chipalila.
He has since described the police conduct of cancelling all their 42 permit applications as an unreasonable and accused them of wanting to cause confusion among the opposition unnecessarily.
At a press briefing yesterday Hichilema’s special advisor, Douglas Siakalima said UPND would not be intimidated by anybody to hold any meeting countrywide because they were citizens who needed no permission to meet people.
“As I speak to you right now, Mr Hichilema is in Eastern Province, we wrote to police who allowed us, yesterday she calls back and informs us that we should not go ahead, now this calls for defiance, we shall defy that at all costs,” he said.