Police on the Copperbelt on Wednesday harassed Forum for Development and Democracy president Edith Nawakwi, ordering her to stop addressing meetings and leave the province because she allegedly did not have a police permit.
Nawakwi confirmed the police harassment but vowed that she will not allow the PF cadres in police uniform to hound her out of the Copperbelt or stop her from meeting her members.
Police officers in riot gear stormed FDD offices located in Kansenshi and disrupted an indoor meeting before ordering Nawakwi to accompany them to police.
But Nawakwi refused saying that she had not committed any offence and would not accompany them. The event took place between 1600 and 1630 hours
“We just saw police officers whom we suspect were informed about our presence by some PF cadres arrive at our offices. We did not commit any offence for them to get overzealous and want to disrupt our meeting,” said Nawakwi.
She explained that the ten officers from Kansenshi Police Station wanted Nawakwi arrested because she had breached the Public Order Act.
“Police officers from Kansenshi Police Station were phoned by some PF officials that I was having a meeting with FDD officials at the FDD Ndola Secretariat at 14 Chinika Street in Kansenshi.
“ I was shocked to see 10 police officers move in and demand that I stop addressing our members from the four Constituencies in Ndola and accompany them to Kansenshi Police Station for questioning,” complained Nawakwi.
And FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said that the police wanted to arrest Nawakwi on allegations that she had breached the Public Order Act. Mwanza explained that he told the police that there was no need for them to get a permit as they were having an indoor meeting.
However police officers stood their ground and ordered Nawakwi to stop the meeting.
After realizing that Nawakwi was not moved with the police presence and that cadres had already started singing anti-police and anti-PF songs, police panicked and called for re-enforcement.
At the end of the meeting Nawakwi asked the Officer-In-Charge, identified as Ms. Chisenga to join her in the FDD office with other police officers.
“I am totally dismayed by your uncalled for behavior. How could you honestly disrupt a peaceful indoor meeting like this one?
This is our Party secretariat and surely you don’t expect us to be notifying the police every time we meet here.
“These are our offices. I know that you are under pressure but what has disappointed me more is that you, officers of the law can stoop so low as to start getting orders from PF officials and PF cadres. You are supposed to be professional men and women and not stooges for PF,” an angry Nawakwi said.