UPND Defends Itself Over Batoka Ward Violence [document]

A United Party for National Development (UPND) official has issued a statement defending the party’s supporters against accusation they were perpetrating political violence in the Batoka Ward by-elections in Southern Province.
Joseph Mukwamba, a member of the UPND campaign team, has issued a statement alleging the ruling Patriotic Front hired thugs from Choma to cause confusion.
We in the UPND campaign team for the Batoka By elections in the Southern Province would like to condemn in the gest terms the violence that was orchestrated by the PF cadres mostly imported from Choma’s Compounds to Batoka by election scheduled for 19th August, 2014,where Four Patriotic Front (PF) officials were injured.
Our campaign team did not start the fight as we were attacked by our colleagues who were retiring back from their failed campaign trials
As stated people who were involved in this clash or injured were cadres which our Colleagues ferried from Choma to Batoka to cause harm to us but it was people of Batoka who rejected them and did not want to see them in the area as they were not obeying the electoral code of conduct and regulations as their motivates was to harm anyone in their way
As the UPND and other marketers who were attacked in Batoka to be specific at Batoka Market would not only view what happened as political violence but criminal and barbaric.
To this effect it is well established that PF are only interested in winning elections at the cost of intimidations and threats and not infrastructure development, the people of Batoka mainly depend on agriculture and needs answers to resuscitate the dying agriculture sector.
The UPND wish to distance its youths from the violence that left four PF thugs at Batoka’s Market seriously wounded
No UPND cadres participated in the beating of the named PF cadres who were imported from Choma to Batoka for the purpose of causing violence. Our hands are very clean as our mission to Batoka is to speak to the people what the UPND is able to do for them now and for 2016.
The Party further explains why the local people decided to beat them because they realized that their action was not in line with electoral code of conducts.
We want to caution the PF and other parties to desist from importing cadres from others towns to an area where elections were being held and pushing us into a tight corner.
We are being attacked in almost every by-election, just on the Copperbelt our ward official was beaten and stripped naked by the PF. confirming that the PF is a very violent party that intimidates and threatens its partners such as the opposition political parties.
As much as we sympathise with the PF cadre currently nursing injuries from beatings from local people, we demand that ECZ to caution the ruling PF from importing cadres from Choma to Batoka to cause violence.
The UPND Party says that its wrong for the Ruling PF to import thugs from Choma to Batoka on the sole purpose of causing violence. The Police release on the names of those that were injured states that the PF Cadres were all from Choma and residing in the compounds in Choma town thereby making us wonder as why the PF Party had to import cadres from Choma to Batoka and for what motivate.
The UPND Team in Batoka shall remain committed to conduct peaceful campaigns in Batoka and we want to thank the general citizenry for showing confidence in the UPND party and leadership.
The UPND under President Hichilema Hakainde would like to state that it does not believe in violence campaigns but instead believe in issue based campaigns that are going to collectively kick out the PF in 2016 and bring peace and prosperity to this Country.
And UPND Campaign Manager for the Batoka Ward By Election Cornelius Mweetwa said he was not at the scene of the attack as claimed by some PF members who charged that the land cruiser for the Choma central member of parliament was used to launch the attack.
Recently Four Patriotic Front(PF) officials who were imported from Choma to Batoka by the ruling PF were seriously injured in a clash with local residents in Batoka after being suspected of causing violence in Batoka.

Source : Zambia Reports

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