PF cadres at Northmead Total service station yesterday beat up their colleague who was wearing a red T-shirt, mistaking him for a UPND supporter. The angry cadres blocked Great East Road with stones and moved around Northmead looking for suspected UPND cadres who were coming from a press briefing at Chainama Hotel.
According to eye witnesses, a van allegedly laden with stones carrying suspected UPND cadres drove to a car wash, which is predominantly used by PF cadres, while chanting their party slogans. “UPND cadres were coming from the Manda Hill direction and they went to a car wash near the filling station where PF cadres are normally found, and they started chanting slogans. This angered the PF cadres and street vendors who tried to chase them and the situation turned violent after some of them started throwing stones,” a witness narrated.
“In the process, some vehicles at the filling station were smashed. Now when the PF cadres saw this guy who was in a red T-shirt, they mistook him for a UPND cadre and beat him up badly; I think the guy has sustained serious injuries in the head.” Another witness said at the time the incident happened, several gunshots were heard and that people who were doing their usual business were forced to run into peo- ple’s homes while others sought refuge in nearby shops. “As this was happening, I tried to move out of the traffic as cars were stuck, no one was moving. But after I heard gunshots, cadres scampered and the other camp drove off. At this point, the PF cadres started disregarding police officers who had come to calm the situation. They climbed on police vans while singing ‘police uliwawoyo, uliwawoyo Kalambo, police finshi ukwete’ (police you are useless, what do you have…,” narrated the witness.