POLICE Spokesperson Esther Katongo says officers on the Copperbelt did not at any point demand for a permit from UPND Hakainde Hichilema to attend Mass at St Joseph of Cupertino Catholic Church in Ndola’s Chifubu Township on Sunday.
But Katongo said it is the duty of the police to monitor the security situation and that there is law and order whenever any Political leader or any individual with a following visits an area.
In a statement to Mwebantu, Katongo said the UPND program indicated that its leader was scheduled to attend a church service at Christ the King Pentecostal church but Police received but that police had information that Hichilema was to attend church at St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Katongo upon receiving the information, some Police Officers went to St Joseph’s Catholic Church where they met the Parish Chairperson to verify on the information that Mr Hakainde Hichilema was to attend mass at the said church.
She said by doing that, police were not in anyway asking for a permit from the UPND but that it was done because it was essential for the officers to monitor the security situation.
Katongo has further narrated that as the officers were inquiring from the Parish Chairperson, some UPND cadres interrupted the conversation and asked whether there was need for the permit when it was a church program.
And Katongo said pictures circulating on social media showing Police officers with Hichilema purportedly depicting what transpired at the church are a misrepresentation of facts because the officers who went to the church were plain clothed officers and not uniformed.
“Furthermore, Mr Hichilema was in a suit and not the attire showing on the photos.
We urge the UPND to own up and give a true reflection of what transpired at the Church as opposed to twisting facts with a view of misleading the general public,” said Katongo.