By Nation Reporter
UPND cadres yesterday harassed and attacked street kids who were wering PF chitenge materials and chanting the ruling party’s slogans while Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba was appearing in the Kitwe Magistrate Court for assault and other offences.
The UPND cadres vented their anger on the street kids along roads in Kitwe city centre and violently abused the boys and it took the alertness of the police who managed to intervene in the fracas.
The UPND cadres also blocked roads in Kitwe and assaulted a police officer but in the process 12 of them were arrested and are detained at Nkana West police station.
Police ran running battles with the unruly UPND cadres who blocked the Road on their way to Moba Hotel where Mr Mwamba was scheduled to hold a press conference soon after leaving the Kitwe Magistrate Court after being released on a K20,000 bond.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga confirmed the arrest of the 12 UPND cadres who have been charged with conduct likely to cause the breach of peace and are detained at Nkana East Police Station in Kitwe.
“Yes, I can confirm that 12 suspected UPND cadres in Kitwe have been arrested and charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace. This was after they started blocking the roads after Mr Mwamba finished whatever business he had in Kitwe. They are detained at Nkana East Police Station,” Ms Katanga said.
While Mr Mwamba was still in the court, some UPND cadres showered insults and almost beat up street kids who were chanting slogans in support of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) near the Kitwe Magistrate Court at Stanbic Bank.
Some eye-witnesses told the Daily Nation that soon after Mr Mwamba was released on bail, the excited and overzealous UPND cadres became unruly and started blocking some roads in the city.
Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, appeared before Kitwe Magistrate Malota Phiri and pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault, one of malicious damage to property and one of conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
In the two counts of assault, the UPND vice-president is alleged to have assaulted Moses Katongo and Francis Musonda during a fracas at Chisokone market in Kitwe, while the one count of malicious damage to property is involving property costing K419.
Among the goods which were alleged to have been damaged included two boxes of macaroni, 10 rolls of tissue and two boxes of soft drinks.
Mr Mwamba was arrested and detained at Ndola Central police station after two days of eluding the police who were pursuing him over the Chisokone market fracas.
When he appeared in court yesterday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted a K20,000 bail on his own cognisance with two working sureties.