Seven members of the ruling People’s Party (PP) in Mzimba South Constituency are in police custody, following a fight that erupted between supporters of two camps.
The arrests, which started on Sunday, follows another commotion early last month when another PP meeting in the same area ended abruptly after another fight by the two sides.
Both spokespersons for Mzimba Police Gift Nyirongo and PP’s Hophmally Makande confirmed the arrests, with Nyirongo indicating that more arrests are expected.
“These people are said to have disturbed a PP political meeting,” said Nyirongo.
The meeting was called by one of the party’s national governing council (NGC) member Makwenda Chunga. He (Chunga) is believed to be repositioning himself for a parliamentary seat while those who started the fight are alleged to be supporters of incumbent legislator Paul Shawa.
Nyirongo said although the arrested supporters are implicating a number of their colleagues, police are yet to establish who sent them to destabilise the meeting.
“Today, we were just doing the arrests, but we are yet to have in-depth questioning to establish the motive behind what they did,” he said.
The seven, according to Nyirongo, have been charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
Nyirongo identified six of the arrested as coming from the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mzukuzuku, while one is from T/A M’mbelwa but all from Mzimba District.
The six are 23-year-old Chawezi Chunga and Boyce Chunga,35, both from Ngoniwawo Village, 18-year-old Emmanuel Nyirenda and Harrison Ndolo, 22, all from Thom Ndolo Village, 42-year-old Rabson Nkhoma from Sinda Village and Andrew Manda, 22, from Yiweta Village, T/A M’mbelwa.
Makande on the other hand described the issue as disturbing.
“The issue is as we are going towards primary elections there are people who would want to reposition themselves and establish support in different constituencies and that is what is happening,” he said.
Shawa could not immediately comment on the incident.
Chunga also did not want to be drawn into an interview, saying the issue was now with police.