UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says sending police officers to seal off Chainama Hotel where he was scheduled to address the press yesterday was one of the most stupid things President Edgar Lungu’s government could do.
And Hichilema says President Lungu is about to fall despite self-orchestrated police brutality against the opposition and its sympathisers.
Meanwhile, MMD president Nevers Mumba has warned President Lungu against falling prey to the dented African political ditch.
Speaking at a joint press briefing at the party secretariat in Lusaka yesterday after police cancelled the event at Chainama Hotel, Hichilema said President Lungu’s cruelty to opposition political parties was provoking citizens.
Heavily-armed police officers yesterday sealed off Chainama Hotel in Lusaka, the initial venue for the UPND press conference.
Neither journalists nor UPND officials who trooped to the venue were allowed access.
“It is very pleasing to see you here because [President] Lungu thought that by doing that stupid thing he has done at Chainama Hotel, taking armoured vehicles there and senior police officers, including [Bothwell] Namuswa, the one who shot at our person at the Lusaka High Court, he was sighted there. That’s the most stupid thing to do! We should call things by what they are; we should not skirt around. He is provoking us and citizens but we are smarter than him. We’ll not fall into his trap,” Hichilema said.
“We are re-thinking how to deal with this tin-pot dictator [because] we cannot continue being teargassed, being shot at all the time.”
He also reiterated that Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini’s partiality in the House had compromised the country’s expected democracy.
“…the one who is sponsoring Matibini to misbehave there is Lungu,” Hichilema said.
The opposition leader further encouraged UPND members of parliament not to give in to dictatorial tendencies being exhibited by ruling PF members of parliament in the House.
“I want to remind our members of parliament; continue [with] the good work that you are doing in there. You are 58 there and you are too many to fear. Lungu is not the one paying your gratuity but it’s the people of Zambia. Everything that goes up must come down and I want to assure [that President] Lungu is about to come down. He will go back where he came from and he will fail to settle the debt of the properties he is ‘buying’ everywhere,” said Hichilema.
Meanwhile, Mumba said his political voice could not be silenced by President Lung’s repressive regime.
“…This President [Lungu] is not stronger than Kenneth Kaunda, this PF is not stronger than UNIP but Kenneth Kaunda is not in power today and UNIP is not in power today. I want you to understand that life repeats itself; [Hosni] Mubarak of Egypt was strong but he is not there today, Saddam Hussein of Iraq was strong but where is he today? [Muammar] Gaddafi of Libya was strong but he is not there today. Life repeats itself and it’s repeating itself in Zambia today. I ask my colleague, President Lungu, to choose the path of life and the path of peace. You can’t stop us from speaking because you didn’t give us this voice,” said Mumba.