A COVERT vigilante group clandestinely formed to cause political terror before, during and after the August 11th general elections allegedly established by the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been exposed.
Ephraim Shakafuswa, the former UPND Lusaka Province youth coordinator, has revealed that the opposition party has formed a special task force whose sole mandate was to disturb the country’s peace through planned violent activities before and after the general elections to make the country ungovernable.
Mr Shakafuswa has written to the Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to ask him to launch ‘‘serious’’ investigations into the secret UPND special task force team of youths which he claimed was unknown to the opposition party structures and leadership.
In the complaint letter dated April 11, 2016, Mr Shakafuswa names four UPND officials whom he claimed were part of the meeting that established the task force. Mr Shakafuswa claimed in his letter that he was among the youths in the UPND perceived to be radicals who were recruited to be part of the secret youth committee that was to mobilise youths across the country to allegedly commit violent acts against the State so that Zambians could rise against the Patriotic Front (PF), the party in power.
He alleged that the special youth team was established under the auspices of some UPND officials and its mandate was to cause terror under the pretext of dissatisfaction in the manner State police administered law and order.
Mr Shakafuswa claimed the UPND officials summoned the youth team for an emergency meeting at their offices where a task team was to be formulated whose existence was to remain unknown to the main structures of the party but with a mandate to mobilise youths across the country whose assignment would be to commit violent acts against the State as a sign of protest against the police conduct. He claimed that the special youth team was made to sign an oath of secrecy and allegiance to the task team and that he was ready to make the oath public and available to the police.
“I would like to lodge an official complaint against a task team/committee within the UPND tasked with the mandate of disturbing peace in the country through violent acts before and after the general elections. I would like to state for the record that as a youth coordinator for Lusaka under the support group for the UPND called the youth league, I was among other people perceived to be radicals in the party who were called to an emergency meeting.
“The meeting was to formulate a task team or committee whose existence was to be made secret and unknown to the party but with the mandate of mobilising youths across the country to commit violent acts against the State as a sign of protest against the running of State affairs and perceived infringement against UPND president by the State through the police,” Mr Shakafuswa said.
But UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe, when contacted, denied the existence of the special youth team and described as nothing the revelations but a malicious propaganda campaign to incite the law enforcement agencies to unleash its personnel on the UPND leadership.
Ms Mushipe said it was impossible for anyone or even an opposition political party to form parallel regimental forces to fight State security wings such as the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service and the Zambia Police. She said the UPND had just discovered that the PF had planted moles in its structures whose aim was to manufacture crimes against the opposition party so as to incite State security agencies to harass leaders of the opposition party.
“The allegations are rubbish and an attempt to victimise the UPND. The State has four defence forces which include the Police, Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambia National Service and the opposition has no capacity to form its own battalion or regiment to fight the State.
‘‘And what time does the UPND have to get involved in covert activities when their concentration is on the campaigns?” Ms Mushipe said.