POLICE spokesperson Esther Katongo says police have launched investigations into the burning of UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema’s campaign billboard a day after it was mounted near Heroes stadium in Lusaka.

And Katongo says information that the Police are receiving on the ground is that the people that destroyed the said billboard were not in any political party regalia.

In an interview, Katongo said burning of campaign materials for another political party was a crime and further asked citizens who had information on the same to report to the police.

“That is something that has value, whether it is a billboard or chitenge or structure it has value attached to it. So, anyone who destroys resources like that, is liable for prosecution. When you read the penal code that is malicious damage to property. The IG already laid the foundation in his statement last week. He even touched on the issue of burning and pulling down of other people’s campaign materials. So, if there are people who have information regarding the same, let them give us that information so that perpetrators are brought to book and they should save as examples for others who are planning to do that,” Katongo said.

“We are going to act, it is a matter of finding information, it is a matter of finding the people behind that. Some people maybe saying ‘we are delaying’, we are finding links leading to the people that did that. We may not pick innocent people just to have it on record that [we] acted swiftly, we have to find the correct perpetrators of that crime.”

She cautioned the UPND against following the same route.

“The UPND should not follow that route, because it is criminal. They may find that as they are doing that, they will be found on the scene, and it will be quick for us maybe to arrest them. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We are investigating the matter. If the UPND have information let them give it to us,” Katongo said.

“The information we are getting on the ground is that those that destroyed that, they were not in any political party regalia. That was according to the people on the ground who saw the same people, they were saying they were not in any political regalia, but we don’t know. For us we don’t follow political parties, we follow wrong doors who are criminals in respective of which political parties they belong to or whether it is any other person who is not even politically inclined, for us we are looking for the person who committed that offence.”

Meanwhile, UPND national youth spokesperson Gilbert Liswaniso urged the police to be fair and to take action against the perpetrators.

“I think we have seen this lawlessness for a long time. We can’t allow lawlessness to go around in the country and people are watching. Parliament has been dissolved, all of us are equal. The police have now to be very fair because Parliament has been dissolved, everybody should be protected, the PF should be protected, the UPND should be protected, all parties should be protected by the Zambia police. We should not allow anyone, even the UPND to burn the PF banners. But what we have seen is that the police are allowing these criminals to continue doing the same,” said Liswaniso.


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