CATHERINE MUMBA, ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has condemned the fracas that left several people injured when alleged United Party for National Development (UPND) and Patriotic Front (PF) cadres clashed at Leopards Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka.
And police in Lusaka have warned of stern action against the mastermind of a brawl where cadres clashed at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park gravesite over the weekend.
Speaking on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from the Copperbelt, President Lungu said what happened at the graveyard is unacceptable.
“As a president of PF, I would urge the youth to emulate my conduct. Being intolerant, impatient and emotional should not be allowed,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu urged political leaders to set a good example to their followers to avoid a repeat of what transpired.
President Lungu said the culprits, when identified, should be counselled.
And Lusaka Province police commissioner Nelson Phiri said investigations have been instituted and no one will be spared for causing confusion in the country.
“We will not spare anyone because of them belonging to a certain party. Anyone found wanting will face the law,” he said in an interview.
Mr Phiri said it is shameful that cadres decided to take their differences to a graveyard, which is a sacred place, and where traditionally, there is supposed to be peace.
He said the clash between the cadres was a barbaric incident which should not be condoned by peace-loving Zambians.
Mr Phiri said the behaviour by the cadres is unfortunate and should be condemned as it has potential to derail the peace of the country.
On Saturday, suspected UPND and PF cadres clashed at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park, leaving several injured and property damaged.
A bus belonging to the PF was burnt to a shell, while several UPND cadres were rushed to the hospital.
The PF condemned the clash and called on its members to exercise restraint even amidst provocation.
In a statement, PF media director Sunday Chanda described the incident as regrettable.
“No one from either camp should seek cheap glory out of this unfortunate incident and as such, we are calling on our colleagues to preach restraint to their members in the same manner as we are doing in the PF,” he said.
And PF deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri said the party is aware of tactics by the UPND to provoke the PF hoping that it will stoop low to engage in a war of words with them.
Mrs Phiri said some disgruntled UPND members are out there trying to throw dirt at the PF in a bid to gain relevance in the political spectrum of the country.
She was responding to a social media story that alleges that she sent people to kill UPND members.
This is according to a statement issued by PF media director Sunday Chanda.
“But as Michelle Obama would say, when they go low, we go high – that’s my message to our party members,” Mrs Phiri said.
She said the PF has better and more important things to do than waste resources on dysfunctional elements whose only aim is to plunge Zambia into unrest.