Emotions were high on Friday when the UPND conducted a funeral procession for their slain member Lawrence Banda who was murdered in cold blood this week in Kaoma.
Lawrence Banda who was fondly known as Gaddafi was put to rest at Leopard’s Hill Cemetery in Lusaka in the afternoon. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Before the funeral service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, there was a commotion in the Central Business District as cadres carrying Banda’s casket protested over the death of their colleague.
Businesses closed as vehicles were stoned after rival cadres from the UPND and PF clashed as the casket made its way to the Cathedral.
The PF cadres quickly retreated and their way to John Laing Compound at the funeral house where they harassed mourners and ransacked the funeral house.
They broke chairs and threw away the food that was to be prepared for the mourners in retaliation to the UPND actions.
And at the funeral service, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema encouraged the family to remain strong and dedicate everything into the hands of the Almighty, who is their ultimate Defender.
Mr Hichilema pledged that the party will take of the family of the deceased.
He also condemned the manner in which the Police handled the entire procession.
“For no apparent reason, heavily armed State Police on several occasions attempted to block us from proceeding to the burial site to bury our deceased youth leader. They fired gunshots and injured several of our people for no crime whatsoever as we were so peaceful and in mourning,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Our message to all the Police is that we are not fighting you but fighting for you and we mean well for you. When in government we will ensure your conditions of service are improved than what is currently obtaining under the PF regime,” he said.
He added, “Our brother is gone but we will ensure that his going to be with the Lord will not be in vein. As we will be supporting his family, we will continue demanding that the PF thug who shot him faces the law and if the PF don’t bring him to book, sooner than later he will be answerable.”
He added, “It is such a painful moment and the killing of our people by the PF must come to an end immediately as continue calling on citizens to defend themselves against the PF thugs whenever attacked.”
“Remember, a wound against one Zambian is a wound against all of us.”
He charged that the UPND detests violence and it is for this reason that they will always stand up and stop it.
“That is what our late member wanted. Though gone, our brother Lawrence Banda’s hope of a better Zambia lives on in us and together with you and the help of God, almighty, this will surely happen. Painful as it is, we say rest in peace Lawrence Banda.”
Source – Lusaka Times
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