Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) cadres in Mazabuka yesterday stormed Mazabuka community radio station and ordered staff in the newsroom to immediately suspend a live phone in programme in which the station featured their provincial chairperson Opper Hamiyanze.
The cadres who were led by District chairperson, Nelson Simbule and Provincial youth chairman, Brave Mweetwa forced their way into the newsroom at 12:20 hours; directed reporters to stop the programme failure to which they would enter the studio to ‘ evict’ Mr Hamiyanze.
Reporters had to abandon the radio station for fear of possible harassment from the cadres since the suspension of the programme could only be sunctioned by Station manager who was at the time of the fracas out of the station.
PF cadres chanted anti- Hamiyanze slogans as they waited for their superiors to force Mr Hamiyanze from the studio though their demands could not be heeded too.
The cadres briefly turned the community radio station into a political battle field as they hurled insults and prepared themselves for a pysical fight with Mr. Hamiyanze.
However, the cadres fled in their hired car after word went round that Police were on their way to effect their arrest.
Police who arrived at the radio sation later found a skeleton of senior PF party officials under a mango tree waiting for Mr. Hamiyanze to finish the interview.
The police led by District Crimininal Investigation officer, Peter Chibanda and station inspector Mufaya only interviewed the reporters and left athours.
Provincial youth chairman, Brave Mweetwa told ZANIS in Mazabuka, the district and provincial party officials took such drastic action because Mr Hamiyanze had no moral right to discuss isssues involving the PF when he had resigned to join the political party linked to Luena Independent member of parliament, Charles Milupi.
He said the party officials were bitter with Mr Hamiyanze for masquerading as PF provincial chairperson when he did not hold any position.
Mr Mweetwa said the PF is fully aware of the activities of Mr Hamiyanze whom he accused of having been holding dark corner meetings to incite district and provincial party officials to defect from the PF.
He however said the PF leadership in the province is happy that all the district officials talked too by Mr Hamiyanze have refused to accept resign.
Mazabuka radion station manager, Belon Chintombwa said the behavior of the PF cadres was unacceptable as it is infringement of Mr Hamiyanze’s right to freedom of speech.
Mr Chintombwa said it was unfortunate that the cadres decided block the programme when Hamiyanze did not say anything bad about the PF leadership except to campaign for the forthcoming PF provincial elections.
Patriotic Front (PF) Southern Province chairperson, Opper Hamiyanze has called on the PF national leadership to immediately announce the date for its convention.
Mr Hamiyanze has warned that he will be forced to resign from the PF if the party does go the convention before the tripartite election next year.
He told ZANIS in Mazabuka soon after featuring on a live phone in programme at Mazabuka community radio station that opposition political parties should learn to exercise the tenets of democracy which demand that all positions in the political structures should be challenged during party elections.
And Mr Hamiyanze also condemned the violent behaviour by some cadres who stormed the newsroom at the community radio station.
He said the presenter of the programme dubbed Live Wire, Joe Pandwe had to consult him if he was confortable with the noise by cadres who were demanding that the programme be suspended.
Mr Hamiyanze accused his opponent challenging him for the position of Provincial chairperson as being behind the fracas and hiring of cadres to denounce him.
He said his opponent allegedly hired call boys and bought beer for them to beat him up in a bid to frustrate him from defending his position.
Mr Hamiyanze has since challenged PF leader Micheal Sata to condemn the violence that erupted at the community radio station.
He also urged Zambians not to support political parties whose leaders preach violence because it has no place in a democratic society.
Meanwhile, Mr Hamiyanze has also denied claims by the district and Provincial leadership that he had resigned to join the party linked to Luena Independent member of parliament, Charles Milupi.
He said he is still a staunch PF member adding that no amount of intimidation would force out of the party.
But PF Provincial youth chairperson, Brave Mweetwa told ZANIS the party has enough evidence to prove the allegations.