—The police command in Western Province says the roadblocks which have been mounted in Longe area and at the Katunda junction in Kaoma district are meant to curb the proliferation of offensive weapons into the area.
Reacting to opposition UPND’s concern over the increasing police presence in the area, Western Province Police Commissioner Lombe Kamukoshi said the police need to verify that people don’t bring offensive weapons in the area where parliamentary and ward by-elections will be held in Mangango and Luampa respectively.
The by-elections will be held on August 19, 2014.
UPND candidate for the Mangango by-election Godwin Putu said the move by police to mount checkpoints was meant to intimidate the opposition supporters an assertion the Police Commissioner dismissed as false saying it was not segregating when carrying out the searches.
Mr Putu claimed that PF cadres were being allowed to cross at will while the rest of the people are allegedly being denied their freedom of movement.
But Ms Kamukoshi urged the opposition party to lodge a formal written complaint to her office so that their grievances can be addressed insisting that all travelers to the area are being subjected to the search regardless of their party allegiances.
Mr Putu said Western Province is a peaceful area as evidenced by the incident-free by-elections in Mitete which should be replicated in the Mangango polls.
And UPND assistant campaign manager Kenny Ndumba said the party will not be unsettled by whatever action from the law enforcers and any attempt by the police to crackdown the opposition in the run-up to the by-election will be met by resistance.
He said such undertakings breed discontent and suspicion adding that the UPND would like to see a situation where a cordial relationship exists between the police and opposition political parties.