POLICE in Kitwe have turned down a notification by UPND for a peaceful demonstration on Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, PF youths led by their provincial youth chairman Nathan Chanda held solidarity protests against what they called xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals by the UPND where they warned to declare Copperbelt a no go area for Hakainde Hichilema if the situation does not change.
Copperbelt permanent secretary Bright Nundwe, a civil servant, who received a petition from the PF cadres, revealed that he had advised security wings to be on alert for any suspicious looking vehicles coming to the province to deal with them nice.
But according to a letter addressed to the UPND in Kitwe, the police have denied the party a permit to protests.
“This formation cannot grant permission due to the following reasons: according to the Public Order Act, notification should be tendered to the police seven days before the day of execution. The information which has been circulated on social media to cause disturbances countrywide when HH [Hakainde Hichilema] is summoned to Ndola is therefore a security threat. The other reason has been that a demonstration against ZAFFICO shares is a confirmation, which will lead into causing another riot since the case for the rioters who were apprehended is still before the court. This may also send false alarm thereby leading to rioting,” P. Mutti, officer-in-charge at Kitwe Central Police advised in a letter.
“On this day officers will be engaged in other duties therefore, it will not be possible to police the event. Therefore, due to the above reasons given above, this formation is not able to grant a go ahead on the notification.”
The UPND on November 14 wrote to Kitwe Police officer-in-charge notifying them of its intention to hold a peaceful demonstration.
We write to notify you of our intentions to hold a peaceful demonstration to express our displeasure on the recent happening in our country: – (1) the intentions by the PF government to list ZAFFICO on the Lusaka Stock Exchange. (2) The perceived support by the PF of the poor working conditions and slave wages which most Chinese investors are subjecting the Zambians working for them to. (3) The harsh economic challenges the Zambian youths are going through because of the bad economic policies made by the PF government, read in part the notice.
We intend to hold this peaceful demonstration on the 19th of November, 2018, between 10:00 hours and 13:00 hours. We will march from Kitwes Freedom Park via President Avenue to Oxford Avenue then turn on Zambia Way to Obote Avenue to the Kitwe District Commissioners Office. We sincerely request express sanctioning of our notification in view of the pressing issues outlined above and with particular reference to the express Go Ahead that was given PFs youths procession on the 13th November 2018.