Less than a week after calling for national prayers and fasting, President Edgar Lungu has directed police not to allow the UPND to go ahead with their planned meeting in Kabwe at which over 2000 people were expected to defect from PF and MMD. The defectors were supposed to be received by party leader Hakainde Hichilema.
UPND sources have said that their provincial chairman Albert Chifita has been fighting for the permit for the past two weeks but at the last minute police denied the meeting which was supposed to be held indoors at a named private guest house. They said that they were told that they could not hold a meeting in Kabwe because Vice president Inonge Wina would be expected in the town on Sunday. Wina’s trip to Kabwe has been expressly initiated to bring bribes to some of the people who were supposed to defect so that they change their mind.
But highly placed central division police sources said that the directive was given by Lungu after his poor reception in Luapula province. In the recent past, citizens in different parts of the country have been booing President Lungu because of the poor performing economy.
In Solwezi, his motorcade was booed as people tore PF campaign posters before him and at Heroes stadium soccer fans shouted slogans of Lungu wakangiwa (Lungu you have failed) after a series of power interruptions during a flood lights game.