ZAMBIA’S rule of law came under real attack on Sunday, when the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party cadres cheekily clashed with the police in an effort to violently stop the United Party for National Development (UPND) from holding a public rally which was dully sanctioned by the government and the police.
Police have for the first time since Mr Sata became president confessed that the Patriotic Front thugs were in fact a law on their own and hopelessly watched the hoodlums breaking people’s cars while shouting obscenities against the more than 100 police officers policing the area.
It was unprecedented in the history of the country that police became victims of verbal abuse from the ruling party cadres who were baying for the blood of UPND cadres and officials.
The opposition UPND had been scheduled to hold a public rally in Lusaka’s Kabwata residential area but the machete, chains and catapults wielding PF hooligans decided to get to the venue of the rally earlier, defiantly claiming that there would be no rally in the area because only the Patriotic Front had the exclusive rights of holding such gatherings.
Police in riot gear could only painfully watch the PF hoodlums walk the beat of the tangential areas of the rally, reducing the law enforcement officers to onlookers and bystanders as the near bloodbath went on much to the disappointment of Kabwata residents.
The breakdown in the rule of law in Zambia was confirmed when Zambia’s Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani who openly admitted her impotency when she said it was easier for her to cancel the UPND rally than to arrest the PF cadres who had openly broken law by assembling at the venue of the UPND rally without her permit.
Instead of telling the PF cadres to move from the venue, Ms Libongani was heard pleading with Mazabuka UPND member of Parliament Garry Nkombo to consider cancelling the rally because the police had failed to deal with the PF cadres who were far less than the number of police officers deployed at the venue.
Kabwata Basic School was literally turned into a battle zone between the police and the PF cadres who could openly dare the police to beat or arrest them knowing fully that the ruling party under President Michael Sata was the archetype of violence in the country.
The UPND rally that was scheduled to start at 12:00 hours only took off after 15:00 hours, after some PF cadres, under the command of their district chairman Kennedy Kamba were arrested and taken away from the venue of the rally.
Caught up in the PF orchestrated violence were two United States of America (USA) Zambian embassy staff who were beaten before getting whisked away in a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reporters’vehicle.
Addressing his supports who had endured long hours of harassment from the PF cadres, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema did not mince his words in branding President Michael Sata and his party a barbaric dictator who had ascended to the presidency by way of cheating the Zambians about more money and jobs.
“President Michael Sata and the PF are a barbaric regime but the UPND will not allow Zambia to degenerate into disorder even if they will arrest and detain me 200 times. But those in the PF must know that they are in government temporarily and that their time in power is borrowed. Democracy will triumph over evil and oppressive tyrants,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema said that President Sata has always been a violent man and that over his years in government, he had recruited and trained many thugs whose specialization was cause fear and maim those who disagree with his style of governance.
“We have a party of hooligans and they have taken their hooliganism to State House but we have broken Mr Sata’s backbone which is the Public Order Act by holding this rally. We are talking about the failures of the Mr Sata and the PF because our desire is to provide a better and improved life for Zambians,” Mr Hichilema said.
The UPND leader said President Sata was the most selfish and uncaring leader Zambia has ever had stating that the man decided to pay himself a pension of K1.4 billion through the construction of his house long before many Zambian retirees have been paid off their benefits.
Mr Hichilema said Zambian youth did not have jobs and more money in their pockets as promised by the PF in their campaigns but President Sata had selfishly awarded his wife Christine Kaseba K1.5 billion for leisure in her capacity as the wife to the president.