Police Block Opposition Rally at Chawama

Over 500 police officers have sealed off Chawama Grounds, the venue for the planned United Party for National Development (UPND) rally to air their views on the Patriotic Front (PF) government’s removal of subsidies.

The government’s move to deny the UPND a permit and forcibly block the rally represents the latest incident in a series of confrontations between the PF and opposition parties, which some observers say is a violation of their rights to freedom of assembly.

The Zambian police had originally stated that the UPND could not hold their Chawama rally because they did not have enough security personnel available to provide for public safety – however, this morning more than 500 officers were deployed to ensure that the protest area was cordoned off.

Truckloads of officers outfitted with riot gear have been ferried to Chawama where they await the arrival of UPND members who are expected to be addressed by party president Hakainde Hichilema.