INSPECTOR General of Police Stella Libongani has warned troublesome party cadres in Mangango Constituency of stern action if they continue engaging in violent conduct.
Ms Libongani, who condemned acts of political violence ahead of the August 19, by-elections in Mangango, said the more than 80 paramilitary officers deployed in the area would sternly deal with anyone perpetrating acts of violence.
Ms Libongani said the Zambia Police was determined to ensure the August 19 by-elections in Mangango were violence-free.
Ms Libongani urged political party members to ensure they adhered to peaceful campaign methods instead of violent confrontations.
She said that although there were isolated cases of violence, police had adequate manpower to thwart any scenes of violence.
“We are determined that these by-elections are violence-free, so if there is anyone perpetrating violence let us react quickly and bring them to book. We have adequate personnel to thwart any acts of violence,” she said.
Ms Libongani said this yesterday in Mangango where she had gone to inspect operations in the constituency.
She hailed the quick response by officers in investigating the reported cases of violence and called for continued commitment to prevent the occurrence of violent conduct.
Ms Libongani urged political parties engaged in the campaigns to avoid campaigning during the night, saying this was a recipe for violence.
“I am happy that you (officers) are already investigating the cases that have been reported, this is how it is supposed to be. My advice to the various political parties is that they should desist from
campaigning during the night to avoid violence,” she said.
Ms Libongani said the police had managed to quell acts of violence in past elections and that this time Mangango was no exception.
She said it was important that peace prevailed so that the electorate could cast their vote in a free and fair atmosphere.
“Even after the elections, we need to continue to be alert and ensure that there is no one who is perpetrating violence. I am happy the officers have exhibited professionalism in their duties. I haven’t received any reports of bias, I am happy that you are doing a commendable job here,” Ms Libongani said.
Western Province Commissioner of Police, Lombe Kamukoshi informed Ms Libongani that investigations had started in a case where suspected UPND cadres set ablaze MMD Luampa Member of Parliament Josephine Limata’s two vehicles.
At the weekend, suspected UPND cadres allegedly beat up Chief Mwanatete and his wife when they pursued Ms Limata, who fled.
The Mangango seat fell vacant following the nullification of the election of MMD’s Robert Chiseke by the Supreme Court on May 19 this year on grounds that his election was fraught with electoral malpractices.
Times of Zambia