As political violence continues to take a firm root in Chipata, opposition MMD Chadiza Member of Parliament Allan Mbewe has reportedly been abducted by well-known Patriotic Front (PF) thugs as voting got underway in the by-election.
Mr. Mbewe was abducted between 14.00 and 15.00 hours yesterday by a horde of PF thugs who included a woman after they waylaid the MP on the Great East Road, a few kilometers west of Chipata town as he was driving to polling stations.
MMD president Nevers Mumba confirmed the incident to the Daily Nation from Chipata saying the attackers dragged him out of his vehicle to the thugs’ vehicles and later dumped him in a nearby forest.
Dr. Mumba named the thugs as Andrew Musha, Jacob Sakala and a female Lillian Ergiya, adding that they did not want to see any MMD agent at polling station.
He said that it was no longer safe to live in Zambia under the PF leadership, adding that what was happening in Chipata was life threatening.
Dr. Mumba said that what was highly worrying is that Police were unhelpful in all the abductions reported to them.
“Things are happening very fast here, Hon. Mbewe went to one of the polling station along the Great East Road and these thugs waylaid him. He was in the company of another official, he was dragged and bundled into a vehicle which sped off before he was dumped in the bush,” he said.
Dr. Mumba said that party officials had restrained from hitting back because they did not want the election to be postponed as was the case in Livingstone, adding that the politics of violence the PF had introduced would haunt them for a long time. He said that although his team had reported the matter to police, they did not have confidence in the police in its current form as it was infiltrated by cadres and those loyal to the PF leadership. Dr. Mumba complained that the hijackers of Mr. Mbewe were well known PF officials and that they were doing all this in full view of police or PF leaders.
And MMD Sinda MP Levy Ngoma and his Chipangali counterpart Vincent Mwale who gave a chase told the Daily Nation that the PF thugs had terrorized villages and the entire town in order to stop people from voting because they knew that they would lose the seat.
Mr. Ngoma said that the police had made the situation worse because of failure to cage those that were causing trouble in the area. He said that it was unacceptable in a democracy for leaders and police to behave in the manner they were doing supporting violence at its peak.
“Right now we are giving a chase to rescue Hon. Mbewe who has been abducted by these PF thugs, we don’t know where they have taken him. Things are not okay here. These PF thugs are armed and police know that. What we don’t know is whether they have turned Chipata into a war zone or battle zone.
These elections are ugly, too much bloodshed at the hands of the PF. They want to kill in order to win the seat. Zambia is no longer safe,” he said.