The paramilitary are part of the security for President Michael Sata who is expected in Luangwa on Saturday to launch the construction of Luangwa Bridge – Feira Road project.
But his excited policemen in the proper UNIP or communist style have just moved into a lodge called Bridge Camp and started using facilities.
The other guests who have paid are scared and intimidated by the heavy presence of armed policemen who have just taken over the lodge.
‘We have a number of guests from the Road Development Agency staying with us in preparation for the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the start of upgrading Feira Road to a tar surface. The President is supposed to be attending the ceremony on Saturday 30th March for the ceremony. We also have tourists staying there’, explained Lindsay van den Berg, the lodge owner.
The owners of the lodge were in Lusaka some 230 kilometres away when the police took over their premises but the man had to drive at night to go and see what is happening.
‘Currently we are in Lusaka organising food for the cocktail party for the VIP’s at this event and husband has been called back by our Manager because between 20 – 30 paramilitary armed security police have just now taken over the whole site and refused to register with our Manager or pay for the use of our facilities (e.g. toilets and showers). How can the police take over a private lodge and campsite without making a reservation or registering or paying like every other guest does?, said Lindsay. My husband, Will, has to now drive 3 hours back to the lodge – in the middle of the night – because of this invasion,’
The lodge owners are worried and confused.
‘Has Zambia suddenly become a police state this evening???
‘Our clients and staff are intimidated and obviously feel threatened by armed police over-running the whole site.
‘What is happening to this country?’ They complained.