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 2009-08-28 05:07 pm Back to NEWS
MMD batter PF, UPND cadres again during Kabwela's trial

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 police.

Opposition PF and UPND cadres had gone to give support to Kabwela who is charged with circulating obscene matters or things tending to corrupt public morals.

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 roadside.

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.

Chalwe 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 encouragement.

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 cadres.

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 ch

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 taxi.

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 profusely.

"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 book.

"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 Shiyanga.

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 Zambians."

Malama said about four PF members were injured in the fracas.

"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!]

On Wednesday, 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.

(The Post)

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