HH was not attacked, disputes Zambia Police

The Zambia Police has dispelled media reports that opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was beaten by suspected thugs from Patriotic Front (PF) on September 18, 2013 in Kasama.

Hichilema and his entourage on his way to pay a courtesy call on the newly installed Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people was attacked at the Police Check Point a few kilometres from Kasama town. The UPND leader said the cadres even followed them as they retreated to the Police Station to seek protection and the Police could not take action against the cadres.

But in a press statement dated September 19, 2013, Acting Police Public Relations Officer Ray Hamoonga dispelled the report. Below is the press statement;

PRESS STATEMENT

To: All Media

From: Public Relations Office  

Date: 19th September, 2013

The Zambia Police Service wishes to dispel assertions that the opposition Leader Mr. Hakainde Hichilema was beaten in Kasama. Mr. Hichilema arrived in Kasama at about 10:00 hours on 18th September,2013 and was scheduled to have an indoor brief at Million Guest house with his party cardres. They had notified the police and we had no objection to the notification. However they decided not to go ahead with their planned brief.

We were aware that Mr. Hichilema had a private programme to pay a courtesy call on the incoming Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.

Later Mr. Hichilema arrived at Kasama police station with his entourage and stated that at around 12:00hours whilst driving along mungwi road they were blocked by persons chanting patriotic front slogans.

Efforts to have a formal report recorded from Mr. Hichilema at the police station failed as Mr. Hichilema refused to do so. However, when he decided to leave the police station he was escorted by the police to ensure his security up to Mpika.

RAE HAMOONGA  

ACTING/POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER