UPND denies stripping PF woman leader

United Party for National Development (UPND) vice president Canisius Banda has refuted claims that he directed UPND cadres to strip Patriotic Front (PF) Mazabuka Central constituency chairlady Joyce Kangwa last Friday.

But the Patriotic Front has insisted that Ms Kangwa was stripped naked

The UPND vice president, who was reacting to claims by PF Southern Province secretary Moses Ngosa that Dr Banda had instructed his party cadres to harass the woman, said the PF was in the habit of dragging UPND leaders’ names into the mud because they were aware the opposition party had the support of the Zambian people.

But Mr Ngosa said in Mazabuka yesterday that PF had no reason to accuse UPND falsely, saying his only comment on Dr Banda’s assertions was that members of the two parties must learn to co-exist.

Said Dr Banda:‘‘I am not aware of the woman that the PF claim was stripped and we should not be subjected to comment about rumours; the PF should have produced a picture of that woman who they claim was harassed.’’

Dr Banda said it was ‘‘unlike UPND to institute such violence’’ against anybody although the PF had continued to frame UPND leaders each time they visited some areas on mobilization or any party business.

The vice president said the ‘‘concocted story was a tactic by the PF to toss a rotten nut into the barrel’’ to spoil the UPND’s name.

Dr Banda said the ruling party was desperate and ready to do anything to de-campaign the opposition party.

‘‘That story is a tactic by the PF to toss a rotten nut into the barrel to spoil it; take note you will see that wherever the UPND (leadership) is visiting they will create a story. Today UPND has stripped a woman, tomorrow they will say a bank was robbed by UPND cadres; they will even say a cat was killed just to ensure the UPND appears bad to the people,’’ he said.

He said the woman’s harassment claims by PF in Mazabuka was similar to those of the attack on  Vice President Inonge Wina’s residence in Nalolo which was blamed on the UPND. He said the ruling party had up to now failed to provide evidence to prove that it was the UPND that had attacked Ms Wina’s home.

In response to Dr Banda’s comments, the PF provincial secretary said his party would not claim issues that were false.

He said PF had nothing against UPND but only wanted them to refrain from violence. He added that the issue was reported to Mazabuka police and the victim was still under medical observation.

‘‘The police have received the reports of harassment and the woman has continued to receive medication; yesterday she had her arm which was twisted bandaged and she still has to go back to the hospital for more attention,’’ Mr Ngosa said.

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