Opposition UPND cadres yesterday turned its arsenal on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and PF members whom they attacked with knives and pangas in a shocking wave of political violence which left some supporters of the ruling party with serious injuries.
The violence, which broke out after different political parties converged at various centres for the nominations of their presidential candidates and voter verification, left a trail of destruction and injuries of PF cadres.
In Livingstone UPND cadres attacked the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officials and threatened them with knives at the Victoria Hall verification centre on Wednesday.
Police acting spokesperson Esther Mwata said yesterday the police received reports that suspected UPND cadres had stormed the Victoria Hall verification centre and threatened ECZ officers with knives around 17.00 hours.
“We received a report where suspected UPND cadres stormed Victoria Hall in Livingstone, where the verification of voters is being conducted and threatened Electoral Commission of Zambia officers with a knife around 17 hours yesterday (Wednesday).
Ms Mwata further said a Patriotic Front (PF) official George Ngoma, 39 of Dambwa Central was assaulted by a group of seven UPND cadres in the evening of May 25,
Ms Mwata said the victim sustained a deep cut on the head suspected to have been caused by a sharp instrument such as a machete. She said the assault incident took place around 19.00hours when Mr Ngoma was attacked by a group of people clad in red berets and T-Shirts belonging to the opposition UPND party.
In Solwezi UPND cadres in Solwezi yesterday attacked a vehicle that was carrying Patriotic Front (PF) supporters and injured one person in the process.
The incident happened at around 15:00 hours on Independence Avenue near the old Total filling station.
The UPND cadres were among the 100 supporters who went to verify their details with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) at the Solwezi Civic Centre as supporters for their leader Hakainde Hichilema in this year’s general election.
The cadres clad in party regalia and chanting UPND slogans marched on Independence Avenue from the Civic Centre after they successfully verified their details when they met a van carrying PF supporters who were also flashing their party symbol.
The UPND cadres started hurling insults at their opponents and blocked the vehicle and pulled one unidentified person who fell to the ground and injured himself before the vehicle sped off.
The UPND cadres also destroyed PF campaign posters and removed the PF chitenge flags at bus stations and from poles along the road. North-Western Province Police Commissioner Lackson Sakala could not be immediately reached for a comment.
Meanwhile, Anti Voter Apathy provincial secretary Cranes Kasito has condemned the violent behaviour of the UPND cadres.