Four Patriotic Front (PF) cadres have been arrested in Mpika for stoning motor vehicles that are being used by three ministers and police officers currently on a tour of Northern Province to check on development projects.
The cadres from Chitulika Village where PF leader Michael Sata hails from, were arrested when they set fire and planted logs across the road as the ministers travelled to Chitulika Village where a huge crowd had gathered for a rally on Saturday afternoon.
Ms Siamana identified those arrested as James Chimfwembe, PathiusSoko, Mary Musonda and Agness Soko. They were charged with conduct likely to cause the breach of peace and will appear in court today.
She said the cadres were incensed by the huge crowd that had assembled for an MMD rally which was scheduled to be addressed within Chitulika Villageand tried to block the MMD delegation from accessing the area.
The delegation was composed of Labour and Social Security Minister Austin Liato, Education Minister Dora Siliya and Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Moses Muteteka.
A fracas ensued shortly after MMD cadres and officials attempted toremove the logs and several villagers emerged from the sprawling village to attack everyone in the entourage. A police motor vehicle from Mpika police station was among thevehicles that were stoned.
Police service spokesperson Ndandula Siamana confirmed the development in Lusaka yesterday.
She said the matter was under investigation. Police had to mobilise riot gear to stop further confusion and thehuge rally went ahead under intense security mounted to prevent the unruly villagers from accessing the venue of the rally.
Mr Muteteka, who is also MMD national youth chairperson said no one was injured but that vehicles were hit on the sides.
Police rounded up several villagers but five remained in detention.“We decided to travel to Chitulika after hearing word that no one whowas supporting other political parties was allowed to live there.
People had lived under intimidation for many years but when we wentthere they felt liberated.
This is a democracy, people must be allowed to belong to political parties of their choice,” Mr Muteteka said.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA