Ruling party cadres and opposition Patriotic Front supporters Friday clashed in the capital Lusaka disrupting business for some two hours.
In Monze in the southern part of the country, PF cadres broke a jaw of a taxi driver they suspected to be an MMD cadre.
The clashes in Lusaka erupted over removal of rival campaign posters by the cadres of the two political parties.
The PF is claiming that one of its supporters was killed by MMD thugs in a nearby slum called Kanyama and this prompted the riots.
The claim of this death by the PF is yet to be verified.
Business was interrupted and shops were closed as residents ran for their lives because of the confusion that the fracas brought as the cadres were in possession of machetes and other dangerous weapons.
The chaos also brought about fear of looting and no solution could be found as there were counter accusations from the cadres of both parties.
But traders who were sent into hiding at Soweto market said that the riots were over tearing down of campaign posters by cadres from both parties.
There has been a fierce fight to control Soweto market by the two parties both infamous for hooliganism.
No one has been arrested so far though police managed to calm down the situation by midmorning.
Zambia Police service spokesperson Ndandula Siamana has vowed that the thugs will be brought to book.
The police are maintaining vigil in town to avoid a re-run of the fight.
In Monze, Patriotic Front president Michael Sata’s security men on Thursday beat up an MMD cadre and broke his jaw at Monze Hotel.
The incident happened around 16:00 hours when a cadre identified as Alick Ndele who is also a taxi driver in the company of other two others Lawrence Mwale and Ackson Miyoba were relaxing at the hotel.
PF carders who were at the campaign rally with Sata walked away towards the hotel when word went round that MMD cadres where mobilizing to disrupt the meeting of the PF.
Ndele said before the discussion could yield anything positive Sata’s men produced a gun and started beating Ackson who later bolted before they pounced on Ndele and broke his jaw.
“They found me and Ackson Miyoba before they started telling us that we were the ones giving the PF problems to campaign and sell their candidates in the district but we refused, so when one of our friends Lawrence Mwale who had gone to the gents at the time came back he found them talking to us and asked what they were doing but instead of dealing with the issue at hand they started beating us and they broke my jaw,” said Ndele.
Ndele complained that Police in Monze failed to arrest Sata’s men despite having identified them.
“Can you imagine that one of the senior police officers refused to arrest Sata’s security men, these guys beat and they beat me, I have problems in my chest, yesterday they wanted to admit me but I refused
because I was scared that these people can come back after me to finish what they had planned,” he said.
But police sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Watchdog that the MMD cadres provoked the situation and police prevailed to maintain order.
“PF had a meeting in Monze and just less than 20 meters away MMD cadres started mobilizing themselves with intention to disrupt the rally and we were informed that this is what was happening but before we could disperse them PF cadres had already gotten wind of the MMD cadres and the fight had erupted but we managed to resolve that,” the source said.
But MMD cadres have accused the police in Monze of helping Sata to campaign at the expense of protecting innocent souls in the district.
The Cadres denounced what they called police reluctance in stopping the violence in Monze.