LUSAKA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's main opposition party has dismissed claims that offensive weapons were found at the home of the party's vice-president, saying the weapons may have been planted by the police, a statement seen by Xinhua on Thursday said.
Police raided the home of Geoffrey Mwamba, the vice-president of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in northern Zambia's Kasama district and arrested 28 party supporters.
The police also found offensive weapons which included petrol bombs, spears and machetes.
But Stephen Katuka, the party's secretary-general said the reports were misleading.
"We would like to make clear the facts concerning the raid on GBM's house in Kasama, during which members of his family were teargased, including children. The items allegedly found were only recovered once the house was cleared. We know these have been planted," he said.
"We also categorically deny the existence of petrol bombs in the residence. What they claim to have found were in fact empty bottles, as you might find in any residence," he added.
The arrest of the supporters of the main opposition contender is the latest sign of political tension ahead of elections set for August 11 which have been marred by violence.
The police said the party supporters were arrested after they were found tearing campaign posters belonging to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and decided to run into the house of their leader after being confronted by the police.