Mufumbwe votes with its blood
|The heavy presence of police and
traffic officers in Mufumbwe scared most villagers from attending political
rallies.Picture by Abel Mambwe|
Violent clashes yesterday erupted in
Mufumbwe between MMD and UPND
cadres, leaving six people seriously injured.
One of the victims had his
right eye damaged after being beaten by police officers who responded to the
The violence was sparked by MMD cadres who earlier broke
windows and deflated tyres of a minibus belonging to a UPND member.
UPND cadres who were infuriated by the attack on their member challenged the
police as to why they had not taken action against the MMD cadres who are camped
right in town. They wanted to retaliate.
Police in riot gear prevented
the UPND cadres from going where the MMD cadres camped.
They negotiated for
about ten minutes until the UPND cadres retreated to their camp, which is about
500 metres from the MMD camp.
Just there, the MMD cadres followed the
UPND at their camp and started stoning them using catapults.
The UPND cadres
responded and the attacks continued for about five minutes as police in riot
gear watched from a distance.
The police then ran towards the UPND camp,
which was under attack by the MMD, and fired teargas to disperse the
They found one of the UPND cadres and beat him badly. He had his
eye damaged. Five other people were injured during the operation and an
intelligence officer who was among those beaten screamed: “I am one of
The UPND cadres, including ordinary residents, were forced out of
the town centre. As the police descended on the camp, the MMD retreated to their
base - singing and chanting slogans.
“Boma ni boma! Boma ni boma!” they
chanted as the police watched helplessly.
This violence came barely an
hour and half after President Rupiah Banda assured Mufumbwe residents that there
would be no more violence in the area.
President Banda said he would hold
the police responsible for any fresh violence.