Police in Ikelenge District have arrested 19 suspected UPND cadres for riotous behavior and assaulting a journalist from state-owned Zambia News and Information Services.
According to North Western Police Commissioner Joel Njase, the UPND cadres were earlier conducting a burial procession of their member Betty Chipoya and later caused a commotion at a market.
Mr Njase said the burial which was also attended by District Commissioner Abuid Kawangu went on peacefully until the UPND cadres confronted their PF colleagues at Ikelengi market.
“About 60 UPND cadres dressed in their party regalia also came from Mwinilunga using four vehicles to mourn their departed colleague. Now at around 15:00 hours, some UPND confronted some PF cadres at Ikelenge market and started beating them and pulling down their campaign materials.
The situation became tense and police responded by firing teargass canisters at them,” Mr Njase narrated. “The UPND cadres then started advancing towards the police station and threw stones which damaged one glass pane and a windscreen to ZP 2154 B which is broken down and parked at the police station.”
In the process, a journalist identified as Victor Mwila, 43, from Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Ikelengi was beaten up by the UPND members.
He said Mr Mwila sustained multiple injuries in the head and some general body pains.
“In the process, the government camera, his mobile phone and cash money amounting to K1,000 were grabbed from him,” Mr Njase said.
He said a docket of assault occasioning actually bodily harm (OABH) and malicious damage to property has been opened against the violent UPND cases.