Police have denied storming Divine Mercy Parish Catholic Church in Ndola on the Copperbelt to search for United Kwacha Alliance-UKA- members who were reported to be in the city.

Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga has clarified that at approximately 14:00 hours yesterday, a team of police officers was parked along the road near Divine Mercy parish Catholic Church in Hillcrest to observe the movement of people in the area.

Mr Hamoonga says a number of church congregants were leaving the church yard, either on foot or in their vehicles and one congregant, who had already exited the church yard and was walking along the road, began to take pictures of the officers and their police vehicle.

He says the individual was approached by the officers and asked why he was taking the photographs, and he initially denied doing so but upon inspection of his phone, a picture of the officers was found.

Mr Hamoonga says the man, identified as Kamwale Phiri, residing at House Number E3 rehabilitation center, Hillcrest, Ndola, was then taken to hillcrest police post for questioning, where he was spoken to and advised accordingly.

In a related development, Pastoral Director of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola Father Ephraim Mapulanga, has condemned the actions by police at the Holy Trinity Parish in masala township yesterday where they surrounded the church without any prior engagement with the church leadership, causing alarm and terror among congregants.

According to Father Mapulanga, the police intervention was aimed at preventing former President Edgar Lungu from attending the 10hrs mass at the parish.

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