Police now say will arrest anyone saying they saw cadres with machetes

After failing to control the situation, the Zambia police now say there were no PF thugs carrying pangas and that anyone who says hero she saw them will be the one to be arrested.

Commenting on revelations by QFM, Zambian Watchdog and other independent media that Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, wielding machetes, attempted to attack a rival faction, police spokesperson Charity Chanda said in an interview that it is not true that there were people with machetes.

Ms Chanda  warned that anyone found peddling lies and spreading falsehoods will be arrested.

Yesterday, business came to a virtual standstill in the CBD and Kamwala trading centre when the gang reportedly from Inter-City Bus Terminus attempted an early morning raid on their Lusaka City Market rivals.

Word quickly spread across the CBD and Kamwala that a horde of youths from Inter-City Bus Terminus was headed for the city centre to take over the City Market.

“We know them, they came in two Rosa buses and were armed with chains and machetes,” Mr Banda said.

With the intra-party rivalry coming just four days after a bloody clash that left one man dead, panic and fear gripped business owners who hurriedly closed doors and barricaded their premises.

Eye witnesses at City Market said that several people were beaten in Chibolya township and Kamwala trading area earlier during the day.

By early afternoon, there was still a heavy presence of police officers in town clad in riot gear but calm had returned and most shops had reopened.

Chitapi Banda, a resident of Chibolya a horde of youths suspected to be from Inter-city Bus Terminus stormed the township waking up people before police moved in to quell the upheaval.

“We know them, they came in two Rosa buses and were armed with chains and machetes,” Mr Banda said.

Another eye witness, Wamulume Mubita, said he saw someone being beaten at a depot near the City Market.

“These people are dangerous. I saw them myself and I’m scared,” Mrs Jere said.

And a business woman said she saw a large group of youths clad in party regalia marching towards Namununga School before police dispersed them.

Mercy Jere, who sells second-hand clothes at City Market and lives in Kanyama, said she is now scared of trading from the City Market because she is not too sure if calm has indeed been restored.

“These people are dangerous. I saw them myself and I’m scared,” Mrs Jere said.

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