RULING MMD and opposition PF
cadres clashed this morning outside Lusaka's magistrate court complex during the
trial of Post
news editor Chansa Kabwela and a separate case of Post reporter Chibaula
Silwamba. During the clash, MMD cadres stabbed a PF supporter, Joseph Chama,
with a screwdriver in the chieek and it pierced right through his mouth, while another
one was also severely beaten by MMD cadres in full view of
Opposition PF and UPND cadres had gone to give support to Kabwela
who is charged with circulating obscene matters or things tending to corrupt
Ruling MMD cadres had also gone to give support to the
state and MMD Lusaka Province youth chairperson Chris Chalwe who was appearing
in court for assaulting
Silwamba, Times of Zambia reporter Anthony Mulowa and photojournalist Richard
Mulonga at Lusaka International Airport last month.
The PF cadres had
earlier been singing outside the magistrate complex as both cases were taking
place around 09:30 hours.
Just after Silwamba's case was adjourned, MMD
cadres organised themselves near the Unversity
of Zambia's School of Medicine Ridgeway campus and heaped stones by the
Later, other MMD cadres who were inside the court premises
escorted Chalwe outside to address the cadres that were wielding bottles, planks
and other weapons on the eastern side of the court complex.
thanked the MMD cadres for giving him support and that his case had been
adjourned to Monday.
He told the MMD cadres that their support gave him
Chalwe urged the MMD cadres to go to the court on Monday
to give him support.
While Chalwe was talking to MMD cadres, some of
them started throwing stones at PF cadres that were singing songs denouncing
President Rupiah Banda and his government.
Some PF women had a tough time
negotiating with the police to allow them entry into the court premises to seek
refuge. Later the PF women were allowed to enter the premises while both groups
pelted each other with stones outside the fence.
Seeing that the
situation was getting volatile, Chalwe and some MMD cadres managed to melt into
the court premises while other MMD cadres organised an ambush on PF
Police officers watched as the cadres from both parties sized up
each other and spilled one another's blood.
After realising that the
fracas was degenerating in to a full-scale fight, police reluctantly intervened
and managed to calm down both parties.
But MMD cadres organised
themselves near the prison and managed to ambush one PF cadre whom they stabbed
on the cheek.
The PF cadre, Joseph Chama, bled profusely as
police just watched him.
Other PF members pleaded with police to rush
Chama to court but the officers refused.
Chama was later rushed to the
University Teaching Hospital after other members donated some money for a
A PF cadre, Ackim Shiyanga, sustained severe injuries to his head
after the MMD cadres hit him with stones.
Forty-five year old Shiyanga
said MMD cadres hit him with stones several times and bled
"They beat me badly. You can even see the blood here," said
Shayinga while showing the injuries on his head and stains blood all over his
shirt and trousers.
Shayinga, who was carrying a police report, said he
had reported the matter to the police and hoped the culprits would be brought to
"Even if they have beaten me I am still supporting PF and Sata; we
want Sata in State House. We have suffered. Enough is enough," said
PF youths Mulenga Chewe and Charles Malama said the MMD cadres
over powered them.
"MMD cadres were vicious. They came and grabbed our
banners and our drums. They slid this old man [Shiyanga] and he fell down and
they started hitting him with stones. You see this man is old and he couldn't
fight back," Chewe said. "Some of us were fighting back but we were defeated and
some of our colleagues run away."
Malama wondered why the police opted to
watch while the MMD cadres were attacking PF members.
"We were here [on
western side of the court] but the MMD cadres came to attack us in full view of
the police. Between where the MMD cadres and us were, there were about 15 police
officers but they couldn't intervene. Instead the police officers, when the
fight started, they decided to go inside the court premises and locked the gate
leaving us outside fighting. Some of our PF female members went to the gate to
plead with police officers to allow them to enter the court premises because the
fight had become vicious but police officers refused them," Malama said. "We
wondered why the police could not come out to protect us or end the fight. Worse
enough they refused to protect our mothers, the women who sought for protection
from them. So why were they here if they cannot protect us as
Malama said about four PF members were injured in the
"Our colleague Joseph Chama was stabbed with a screwdriver and
this man [Shayinga] was beaten with stones and another gentleman. The other one
wanted to run away after being beaten and in the process a car hit him. We just
hope his legs were not damaged," said Malama. "All this happened because the
police left the situation that way."
While the PF and MMD cadres were
fighting, some police officers that were inside the court complex fence were
heard shouting: "Menyanani mweka! Menyanani!" [Just fight!]
July 29, 2009, Chalwe beat up Silwamba
and Mulowa who went to cover President Banda's arrival from Uganda where he
had gone to attend the Smart Partnership Dialogue Summit.