GEOFFREY Bwalya Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, yesterday defied Copperbelt police command order after he refused to report himself to Kitwe Central police station.
But UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says his party does not need to be intimidated or harassed by the police as it carries out its campaigns ahead of the 11th August 2016 general elections.
Copperbelt police chief Charity Katanga said that in the morning Mr Mwamba had been asked to report himself to Kitwe police station in connection with confusion which he allegedly caused at Chisokone market.
“We waited for him and he has not shown up but we have informed his lawyers about it,” Mrs Katanga said.
He said if Mr Mwamba would not show up, the police would have to follow him wherever he was and arrest him.
Mrs Katanga said there were many other avenues of having Mr Mwamba arrested.
And when asked if the police had any information about his whereabouts, Mrs Katanga said Mr Mwamba was reportedly waiting for his boss Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who arrived on the Copperbelt yesterday ahead of today’s official campaign launch.
“We have heard that he is in Kalulushi where he is waiting for the arrival of Mr Hichilema,” Mrs Katanga said.
On Thursday evening, the police cornered Mr Mwamba at a road block but he eluded them and is on the run.
Mr Mwamba is wanted by the police for allegedly assaulting two traders at Chisokone market in Kitwe following a fracas after attempts by the opposition party to hold a rally there flopped.
Mrs Katanga confirmed that Mr Mwamba and his entourage were intercepted at a road block last night (Thursday) after a massive police manhunt but in the confusion at the check point, GBM slipped away and has not been seen.
‘‘As I speak, we had intercepted the entire (UPND) group at a police check point; as our officers were trying to advise Mr Mwamba to go to the police station, all of a sudden, he could not be seen any more. He disappeared. His cadres were so many,’’ the police chief said.
“We will apprehend him. We can’t allow such lawlessness. We cannot have a situation where law is broken,” the commissioner said.
Mrs Katanga said two dockets have since been opened against GBM for allegedly assaulting Moses Katongo, who sustained a deep cut on his lip, and Francis Musonda, 31, of house no. 284, Kwacha township, who was slapped and sustained neck pains.
She said the third docket was for conduct likely to cause breach of peace by Mr Mwamba and his entourage.
And speaking upon arrival on the Copperbelt at Kalulushi Airport this afternoon, Mr. Hichilema said his party the United Party for National Development has gone through police harassment for five years of the Patriotic Front in power an act he described as undemocratic. The opposition leader said this in reference to last night’s failed arrest of Mr Mwmba and detention of UPND officials and their vehicles as they came from a Rally in Chililabombwe and Chingola respectively.
Mr Hichilema was welcomed by Mr Mwamba, United Democratic Front President Miles Sampa and other party officials.
He was accompanied by former Acting President Dr. Guy Scott and UPND Chairperson Mutale Nalumango and they are currently on the Copperbelt for the Official Launch of his party’s campaigns today.