UPND members of parliament say the PF government and its police must know that they are responsible for Hakainde Hichilema’s current state of ill health.
And Siavonga UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima has warned that accumulated frustration among citizens can sometimes blow up.
Briefing journalists at the party secretariat in Lusaka this afternoon in view of party leader Hichilema’s continued detention for alleged treason since, Kasempa member of parliament Brenda Tambatamba, who spoke on behalf of the opposition party’s members of parliament, said they were gravely concerned with the levels of abuse of Hichilema by the PF government and its agents during the process of his incarceration and now detention.
She charged that the behaviour and actions of the PF government and its police were highly contemptuous to any civil mind.
“Some of these actions that we speak about are 1. The savage raiding of our president’s residence, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, a law-abiding citizen, leading to injury on his family and damage to property, the gassing of family members in the night and the shameful looting of property from the home. 2. Continuous refusal by police and state agents to allow Mr Hakainde Hichilema [have] access to medical doctors, despite his deteriorating health condition from the time that he was detained. 3. The refusal by the police to enjoy his right to legal representation by refusing his lawyers visits from the time he’s been in detention. 4. Refusal by the police of regular visitations by his immediate family, including his own son. 5. Continuous victimisation of Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s family, friends, party members and associates,” Tambatamba said.
In view of the above and many other acts of abuse, we do hereby, as members of parliament for UPND, demand [that] Mr Hakainde Hichilema be allowed to receive visitors during the period they are holding him. We demand that Mr Hakainde Hichilema be allowed access to his doctors for medical services [and] they must know that they (PF government agents) are responsible for his latest state of health…
She also stressed that Hichilema, who is held at Lilayi Police College in Lusaka, be released as he was arrested on an unfounded basis.
“[Let] him be released immediately, as the grounds for his continuous detention are baseless and are a mere victimisation of a law-abiding citizen. The PF government should stop harassing and victimising the citizens of this country; the PF government and police must realise our impatience over its highly abusive nature and we warn them that this will not be tolerated from now,” said Tambatamba.
And Sesheke member of parliament Frank Kufwakwandi, who read a statement on behalf of all UPND members of parliament from Western Province, said: “We demand the immediate and unconditional release of president HH and all other UPND supporters and sympathisers who are incarcerated on trumped-up charges, so that the process of healing and national reconciliation can begin. As a Christian nation, we must invest in peace, without which there can be no development.”
Meanwhile, Syakalima, when asked by a journalist the party’s next course of action, said the PF government’s autocracy had stirred frustration among most Zambians.
The day I went there, he (Hichilema) was complaining badly. So, [his] condition is quite bad; he requires a doctor but these cruel men and women in uniform believe that he does not deserve to go to the hospital,- said Syakalima.
“Accumulated frustration sometimes can erupt and history has taught us that oppressed people don’t live oppressed forever. Their yearn for freedom eventually ensues! There were dictators in Africa but where are they today? The citizens are more powerful than anybody and I can tell you that even those police officers who are wielding those sticks and guns…When anger goes beyond, it will not be good! And this country that you have been calling a peaceful country every day; this is how African states lose it. We cannot just allow an individual [who has just been] president for two years and you want to be mischievous!”