By Nation Reporter
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday evening visited the mourning house of a Chawama female cadre who was allegedly shot dead following a spate of violence which resulted in bloodshed and her death on Friday.
Ms Mapenzi Chibula was shot dead in unclear circumstances as police attempted to stop a demonstration by UPND cadresfollowing the cancellation of the UPND Chawama rally by police for security reasons.
In the aftermath, police arrested 22 UPND cadres for alleged malicious damage to property.
Police have instituted an inquiry to establish the shooting, and an inquest to determine the cause of death.
Police have advised motorists that the Kafue and Chawama Roads were being watched for possible escalation of violence.
Police are reportedly closely monitoring the situation encouraging the UPND group to remain orderly and peaceful.
But Green Party leader Mr Peter Sinkamba has called for the total ban of elections in Lusaka and Namwala due to an escalation of in violence.
Mr Sinkamba said the 10-day ban slapped on the two areas was not enough to stop the violence which he feared might get worse as the country moved towards the August 11 elections.
And the Patriotic Front (PF) says it is aggrieved by the decision of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to suspend campaigns in Lusaka and Namwala districts because the perpetrators of violence, the UPND, are known and should have been targeted.
PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said any punitive sanctions should be directed at UPND.
He said this is because the ECZ was fully aware that it was the UPND that had been perpetrating violence in Lusaka and Namwala.
Mr Bwalya, who is also President Edgar Lungu’s deputy campaign manager, accused the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his presidential running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba of perpetrating violence in Lusaka and Namwala.
He said it was unfortunate and regrettable that the PF and other political parties were being punished together with the UPND which had caused the violence in the two areas.
He, however, said the PF understood the difficulties ECZ was faced with in making such a decision, stating that had the electoral body only suspended the UPND, the decision would have given advantage to other political parties including the ruling party.
He explained that President Lungu would not have wanted to see the UPND alone disadvantaged for engaging in violent activities because he (Head of State) was a strong believer of fair play and democracy.
“The announcement by ECZ to ban campaigns for 10 days in Lusaka and Namwala is regrettable. As PF we are aggrieved with the decision because ECZ knows the political party that is perpetrating violence in Lusaka and Namwala.
“ The perpetrators of violence are Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. PF and other political parties that have been conducting their campaigns peacefully are being punished together with the UPND which has been causing violence,” Mr Bwalya said.
He said President Lungu did not want any political party to be disadvantaged in the coming political contest and that the ruling party was going to abide by the guidelines the Head of State had spelt out to the party members on how to conduct themselves.
He said the PF had no doubt that its cadres would demonstrate that they were law abiding citizens by rejecting violence and was hopeful that the party was doing well in the campaigns.
Mr Bwalya said there was no doubt that Zambians were going to re-elect President Lungu and the PF because the Head of State was a caring leader.