A CLASH between UPND and PF yesterday left a UPND cadre hospitalised after he was hit with a plank in an incident which happened at the Mongu airport.
And police have apprehended a suspect, Imbwae Imikendu, in connection with the assault of the UPND cadre.
Mr. Imikendu is a former Western Province deputy Minister in the Chiluba administration, former MP for Liuwa constituency in Kalabo district and is chaiperson of the western water and sewarage Company.
The incident happened when PF and UPND cadres met at Mongu airport. The PF cadres were waiting for the arrival of Acting President Guy Scott and UPND cadres wanted to see off their president Hakainde Hichilema.
Both teams arrived at the airport at the same time but the police advised Mr. Hichilema to wait until the Acting President arrived and left the airport.
Shortly after Dr Scott disembarked from the ZAF plane, police officers asked the UPND leader and his delegation to use an alternative route to their chopper so that they could take off.
The police officers assured Mr. Hichilema and his team which comprised ADD leader Charles Milupi and Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane that it was safe for them to go to their chopper.
While they were moving towards the chopper, a group of PF cadres that had gathered at the airport to receive Dr. Scot charged at the UPND leader and entourage and threatened to burn his chopper.
UPND party officials who escorted their president to the airport tried to reason with the PF cadres but the two parties could not agree.
Police officers tried to separate the two groups but were overpowered. In the confusion, a PF cadre identified as Mr Imikendo emerged from the crowd holding a plank and hit a UPND official on the forehead. Police later apprehended Mr Imikendu while the UPND cadre was rushed to Lewanika General Hospital. Western Province police commissioner Lombe Kamukoshi confirmed this yesterday.
Commenting on the fracas, Mr Hichilema said it was disappointing that such ugly acts were happening in full view of police officers and demanded for the immediate arrest of the offender.
“You know what they did in Shiwangandu, now they are doing it in full view of the police. So how do you think this election will take place? You think there will be free and fair elections?
“The answer is no. Do you think there will be peace during this election? The answer is no,” Mr Hichilema said. Mr Hichilema said the UPND was law-abiding and that the PF should not be trusted with power as it tolerated violence.
“How can you entrust such a team to run the country? People will be shot in cold blood. You know they have not been received by Mongu residents that’s what is annoying them, but it is not our problem, it is not our fault. PF should never ever get close to power again. God decided three years was enough, these people suffered a lot, and three years was like 15 years. Zambians must vote against this thuggery, this brutal party,” Mr Hichilema said.
The UPND official fell on the ground in a pool of blood and MrImbwae was left to walk to his freedom by the police.
This annoyed some UPND cadres as they attempted to retaliate but it was too late as some PF cadres had run away, abandoning Dr. Scott’s address at the airport.
Mr. Hichilema advised his cadres and supporters not to fight back saying that that was not part of the UPND. Commissioner Kamukoshi said that the culprit had been detained in police custody and charged with assault. She also said the victim was in hospital but in a stable condition.