Armed Police harrass Nawakwi attempt to disrupt her indoor meeting in Ndola

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President Nawakwi telling off the police officer in charge who came to disrupt the FDD meeting to leave the FDD Offices

Police officers storm the FDD Provincial Secretariat in Ndola

Police in the Copperbelt armed with guns and teargas canisters yesterday harassed Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) President, Edith Nawakwi and disrupted her Party meeting.
This happened arround 16:00hrs when Police officers from Kansenshi Police Station were phoned by some PF officials that Nawakwi was having a meeting with FDD officials at their Ndola Secretariat at 14 Chinika Street in Kanseshi.
About 10 police officers from Kansenshi Police Station moved in and demanded that Ms. Nawakwi who was at the time addressing the FDD Party officials from the four Constituencies of Ndola stop the meeting and accompany them to Kansenshi Police Station for questioning.
At this time FDD Spokesperson, Antonio Mwanza approached the police officers and queried why the police wanted Ms. Nawakwi to go with them to the police. Mr. Mwanza was told that Ms. Nawakwi had breached the Public Order Act since she had not asked for permission from the Police to hold the said meeting. Mr. Mwanza told the police that there was no need for them to get permission from the police since they were having an indoor meeting. “Look here Sir, the Public Order Act does not state that we have to get permission from the police to hold a meeting. It simply states that we have to notify you when we want to hold a public procession. This is an indoor meeting here at our Party office, why should we notify the police that we are having a meeting at our office? Wehave thefundamental constitutional right to peaceably assemble.” Mr. Mwanza told the officers. However, the police did not budge, they told Mr. Mwanza to tell Ms.Nawakwi to stop the meeting and follow them to the police station. “Listen, Mr. Mwanza just tell her to stop what she is doing and follow us to the station. If she doesn’t we will have to use force to make her obey” the officer who was leading the group said.
Meanwhile Ms. Nawakwi ignored the Police and continued addressing her Party officials. At this time the Police directly confronted Ms. Nawakwi, “Madam, can you please call off this meeting and accompany us to the station” the officer told Ms. Nawakwi. Ms. Nawakwi however, refused to follow the order saying, “Why should I stop the meeting? What crime have I committed? Who sent you? These are our Party premises and I have every right to address my Party officials here at our Secretariat. Go back and tell the one who sent you that she has refused to obey my command. Kabiyekamwebeuyo wine ukutumineatinakana to follow your silly orders. This is my country and I won’t allow anyone to intimidate me. You are supposed to serve us and not intimidate us. You the Police are actually trespassing in our private property.”
At this time the Police tried to reason with Mr. Antonio Mwanza to plead with Ms. Nawakwi to stop the meeting and follow them to the Police but Mr. Mwanza told the Police that they were supposed to leave the FDD Secretariat as they were causing confusion by disrupting a peaceful meeting.
Meanwhile the FDD officials started singing Pro-Nawakwi and anti-police songs. Realizing that he was not making any progress the officer in charge of the operation called for reinforcement. Within a few minutes police officers from Ndola Central Police in company of Officer-In-Charge a Ms. Chisenga arrived at the FDD Secretariat armed with guns and teargas canisters.
Meanwhile some PF cadres and officials converged at the FDD Secretariat demanding that they cease Ms. Nawakwi for holding what they termed a dark corner meeting. But the FDD youths confronted them challenging them to leave their premises.
After realsing that they were outnumbered and that Ms. Edith Nawakwi remained uncompromised the officers were left with no choice but to let Ms. Nawakwi finish addressing her Party officials, while they watched helplessly. After the meeting ended Nawakwi asked the Officer-In-Charge, Ms. Chisenga to join her in the FDD office. Ms. Chisenga in the company of her fellow officers went inside and met with Nawakwi and some FDD officials. Ms. Nawakwi explained to the Police that she was dismayed by the conduct of the police. “I am totally dismayed by your uncalled for behavior. How could you honestly disrupt a peaceful indoor meeting like this one? This is our Party Secretariat and surely you don’t expect us to be notifying the police every time we meet here. These are our offices. I know that you are under pressure but what has disappointed me more is that you, officers of the law can stoop so low to start getting orders from PF Officials and PF cadres. You are supposed to be professional men and women and not stooges for PF.” However, Ms. Chisenga did not take kindly to Ms. Nawakwi’s sentiments and stormed out of the office saying she could not discuss anything with Ms. Nawakwi; her juniors who were visibly shocked by her bolting out of the meeting followed her. Ms. Nawakwi and her members from Lusaka were the last to leave the premises.
Edith Nawakwi is in the Copperbelt where she is mobilizing FDD in readiness for the 2016 general elections