KATUBA UPND Member of Parliament Jonas Shakafuswa yesterday ‘shunned’ a caucus meeting called by his president Hakainde Hichilema at the party secretariat do discuss the arrest of its party vice president for administration Goeffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
Yesterday, UPND members of Parliament, excluding Mr Shakafuswa and his Siavonga counterpart Kennedy Hamudulu, walked out of the chambers without any reason but what seemed as a protest against the arrest of Mr Mwamba at Woodlands Police Station.
But when the House was suspended for 15 minutes during tea break, it was revealed that UPND MPs were summoned by their president Hakainde Hichilema to discuss the arrest of Mr Mwamba.
Mr Shakafuswa, who confirmed that his colleagues had been summoned at the secretariat, said he decided not to go for the meeting because he was attending to a national duty of making laws in Parliament.
“As you can see am here at Parliament because I want to be part of making the laws,” Mr Shakafuswa said.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Davis Mwila told Parliament in a ministerial statement that suspected UPND cadres were conducting military training in a building situated along Luanshya road belonging to Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba with a view to use the skills imparted to disrupt the general elections scheduled for August 11, 2016.
On Tuesday, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini directed Mr Mwila to update the House and the nation on alleged UPND militia training.
Mr Mwila also informed the House that UPND’s vice president for administration Geoffrey Mwamba was yesterday arrested in connection with the militia training.
Immediately, after announcing the arrest of GBM, Patriotic Front members of Parliament were heard shouting hear! hear! hear! as Mufumbwe lawmaker Steven Masumba was also heard telling Mr Mwila “Uli Mwaume Iwe Naukwanish Ukwikata GBM” meaning “You are man you have managed to arrest GBM.”
Mr Mwila explained on the floor of the House that on Saturday 27th February, 2016 the police conducted a search at a building situated along Luanshya road in Lusaka belonging to Mr Mwamba.
He said the search was conducted after obtaining a search warrant from the magistrate’s court.
Mr Mwila said the search was necessary because the police had intelligence information to the effect that there were suspected UPND cadres conducting military training at the premises, with the view to use the skills imparted to disrupt the general elections.
Mr Mwila said the purpose of the search therefore was to look for weapons and other military materials used during the suspected military training.
“Sir, the officers found the following offensive items at the premises; seven machetes, one nine millimeter pistol, one golf stick, a number of catapults and five pairs of boxing gloves,” he said.
Mr Mwila said the police also found three motor vehicles at the premises, which had, cannabis, suspected steroids and eight rounds of ammunition.
He said UPND branded caps and T-shirts, training equipment and weights were also found in a hall used as training room and a training register with names of people who had participated in the training exercise.