Northwestern PF cadres led by the Solwezi District Chairman Yobe Banda, Tunvwnganai Councillor Tazi Sichalwe, Benson Ngambo and others were on Tuesday beaten by the Zambia Police and arrested for unlawful protest against the Northwestern Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba.
The PF cadres are allegedly sponsored by former Provincial Minister Steven Masumba who blames Seyuba for his infamous transfer to Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Masumba was in Solwezi in the past one week during which he was spotted plotting against the PS with the arrested cadres at Kansanshi Hotel and newly opened lodge for Richard Taima.
Masumba was in the province to officially hand over to Mubukwanu as provincial minister.
Masumba is alleged to have given Kr 10,000 to Yobe, Tazi andNgambo to organise other thugs to protest against Seyuba.
The trio with other cadres indeed on Tuesday 2 April 2013 marched to the PS’s office.
However, Seyuba was alerted to the scheme by one of the district officials previously from the MMD. Seyuba was also MMD and only joined PF after the 2011 elections. Armed with the information that the PF district executive committee was going to lock his office and kick him out, Seyuba reported the matter to the Provincial Commissioner of police Eugene Sibote who organised riot police to deal with the Committee. About nine officials including a ward councillor were arrested and are still in police custody awaiting court appearance this morning.
Those arrested by the police led by police commissioner Eugene Sibote are Yobe Banda, Benson Ngambo, Henry Lufungulo, Tumvwanganai ward councillor Ntharzy Sichalwe, Eddie Chikamba and four other unknown officials who include two women.
Meanwhile there has been pressure from PF secretary general Winter Kabimba to have his members released although Sibote is adamant that they appear in court this morning. Recently, the local PF leadership has accused Seyuba of being corrupt and he has also faced accusation of failing to execute his duties as PS. The Seyuba group on the other hand are accusing the PF officials of working with Masumba to oust him following his refusal to settle the Kr100,000 bill Masumba is alleged to have accumulated at Kansanshi hotel and also refusing to award provincial contracts to PF cadres who do not have capacity to deliver.
But other sources say when Masumba was Provincial Minister, he abused his authority by awarding huge contracts to Yobe Banda, Tazi Sichalwe, Benson Ngambo and other PF cadres even when they did not have any requisites for a responsive contract.
‘For example, Masumba bull dozed and threatened the Solwezi Town Clerk Mr Daka to awar Yobe Banda a contract failure to which he would be dimissed. For sure, SolweziMunicipal Council through Mr Daka awarded Yobe Banda a contract to repair and maintain the street lights and paid him over Kr 500,000 without following any procedure or subjecting the contract to the District Tender Committee.
‘Yobe Banda did not even have Company documents like Certificates, Tax Clearance etc. He instead obtained such documents in part after being paid. Records at Solwezi ZRA indicate that Yobe Bandaonly obtained his ever first tax clearance certificate three months after he was paid huge sums of money by the Council which he shared with Masumba,’ a source told the watchdog.