A SHOWDOWN between the Zambia Police and UPND members is imminent today at Woodlands Police station where Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has been summoned in connection with the arrest of 19 people for alleged unlawful drilling found at his premises on Luanshya road.
But Mr Mwamba has said police have no right to restrict the number of his sympathisers to give him solidarity while being questioned over the 21 cadres who were arrested.
Meanwhile, a senior UPND official has advised opposition party cadres to turn up in great numbers and witness the mother of all rallies at Woodlands police station.
Mr Mwamba who is popularly known as GBM has vowed that the police should expect as many of his supporters as possible to give him solidarity at Woodlands police station today.
He said the police should not attempt to block his supporters from going to Woodlands Police because such an act could easily spark violence at the police station.
Mr Mwamba said police threats that they would physically deal with his supporters if they became unruly was nothing but intimidation of the worst kind. He said in an interview that he was a high-profiled personality both in business circles and in the political arena and the police should therefore not expect him to be at Woodlands Police station alone or with a few family members.
Mr Mwamba said political leaders would always have the support of their members and sympathisers and that the police should therefore be ready to conduct themselves in a manner that was not going to make the police and cadres clash.
The Zambia Police has warned that they would deal with the UPND cadres at Woodlands police should they turn unruly and riotous and advised Mr Mwamba that he was not going to Woodlands Police to address a rally but to answer questions.
But Mr Mwamba said: “A person of my status in the UPND will always have supporters. I have not invited any but I know they are going to come in multitudes to offer solidarity. The police should not attempt to block them because that is what is going to cause confusion. If they are going to attempt to intim
idate my supporters, then they will be causing trouble
and I do not want such to happen. It would be the worst kind of intimidation to threaten my supporters with physical assault by the police.”
He said his summoning by the police was political and that the law enforcement officers should expect him to be escorted to the Woodlands Police by his political supporters.
“I am not a simple man but a high-profile personality in this country. And when such things happen to me, many people sympathise and the police will be causing problems if they are going to block them,” Mr Mwamba said. But the Zambia Police have warned that Mr Mwamba was not going to Woodlands police station for a rally for his political party but had been summoned to help police with investigations over the 21 youths arrested for allegedly training as militias.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda said Mr Mwamba should not ferry his cadres to Woodlands police and warned that the police were ready to deal with any kind of situation that may arise at Woodlands police station today.
“We are not expecting Mr Mwamba to ferry his cadres to Woodlands police station because he is not going there to address a rally.
They have been advertising that Mr Mwamba would be having a rally at Woodlands police but we wish to make it clear that we shall not tolerate lawlessness by the UPND and their leaders. The Zambia police Service would therefore like to dispel rumours going round that there will be a UPND rally that will be held at Woodlands Police Station to be addressed by Mr Geoffrey Mwamba Bwalya on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at 09:00 hours,” Ms Chanda said.
She said the correct position was that the police had summoned Mr Mwamba in connection with the case involving the 21 suspected UPND cadres who were apprehended from his premises along Luanshya Road.
“What will be happening at Woodlands ion are police investigations and not a political rally. Therefore only Mr Mwamba, his legal representatives and a few family members will be allowed at the Police station,” Ms Chanda said.