On 21st September, 2021, Smart Eagles published an article claiming United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres attacked the Patriotic Front (PF) Secretariat in Lusaka in an attempt to disrupt a press briefing addressed by the PF Vice President, Mr. Given Lubinda. The publication alleges that UPND cadres forced themselves into the Secretariat but were chased away by PF cadres manning the premises. The article claimed that after the attack on the PF Secretariat had been thwarted, the ruling party cadres went on rampage beating up innocent people in the Lusaka Central Business District. The article further alleged that the UPND cadres beat up a police officer.
The fact checking process has determined as unproven the claim that the people who attacked the PF Secretariat were UPND cadres. While the PF Secretariat was indeed attacked by people who wanted to disrupt a press briefing addressed by the PF Vice President, Given Lubinda, there is no evidence linking the attackers to the UPND. During a phone interview with the iVerify team, Police Spokesperson Ms. Esther Katongo confirmed the attack on the PF Secretariat and harassment of traders in Lusaka’s Central Business District. Ms. Katongo stated that Police could not, however, affiliate the assailants to any party as only the political parties had registers to identify their members. The iVerify team phone called UPND Lusaka District Youth Chairperson, Mr. Anthony Zimba, who denied the allegations that the assailants on the PF Secretariat were UPND youths, and alleged that PF cadres have developed a tendency of wearing UPND regalia to tarnish the reputation of the ruling UPND. The iVerify fact checkers reached out to the PF Secretariat for a comment, and they insisted that UPND Cadres had attacked the PF secretariat and attacked PF aligned traders in Lusaka’s CBD. Based on the facts gathered, the allegation that UPND cadres attacked the PF Secretariat in Lusaka in an attempt to disrupt a press briefing that was being addressed by the PF Vice President, and later went on a rampage beating up innocent people is unproven because there is not substantive evidence to show that it was the UPND Cadres who attacked the PF Secretariat and caused destruction to PF aligned traders in Lusaka’s CBD.