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UPND cadres beat PF officials at funeral

STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
SUSPECTED United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres yesterday beat up Patriotic Front (PF) member Brian Hapunda and roughed up member of the central committee Paul Moonga during the burial of Autoforce proprietor Reeves Malambo in Mazabuka’s Nega Nega.
Mr Moonga said in an interview yesterday that he is shocked that UPND cadres beat up Mr Hapunda and harassed him in full view of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and party deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa.
Efforts to get comments from police proved futile as calls to Southern Province commissioner of police Bonny Kapeso and his Lusaka counterpart  Nelson Phiri went unanswered.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said she had not yet received such a report and referred all queries to Mr Kapeso.
Mr Moonga, who was in the company of another PF official, bolted after being confronted by “hefty men clad in UPND berets”.
“When the UPND youths saw me, they confronted me and ordered me to leave accusing me of causing Hakainde Hichilema’s loss of last year’s election. If it was not for me going to the gym, I could have been killed. Just imagine at my age running,” Mr Moonga said.
He said the only crime he committed is to belong to the PF.
Mr Moonga appealed to the Registrar of Societies to deregister the UPND as a political party because it has the potential to cause mayhem in the nation.
“HH [Mr Hichilema] is as good as my younger brother. We both come from Bweengwa. The only crime I have committed is to differ with his ideologies,” Mr Moonga said.
And Mr Hapunda narrated that he was beaten, his spectacles broken and other valuables stolen from his pockets.
Mr Hapunda said he only reported the matter at Lusaka Central Police Station because he could have been killed in Nega Nega.
But both Mr Hichilema and Mr Mweetwa denied seeing or being part of the people who allegedly harassed the PF officials.
Mr Hichilema denied seeing Mr Moonga at the funeral.
“Paul Moonga was attacked? That is news to me. I am not aware of such an incident. Paul Moonga is just in love with my name,” Mr Hichilema said.
And Mr Mweetwa said he indeed saw Mr Hapunda but was too busy with the funeral arrangements and that he did not notice anything.
“I remember seeing Hapunda. He is like my younger brother to me. I drove past him. If anything transpired, then I did not witness it,” Mr Mweetwa said.



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