(By Michael Kasonde and Mwape Mbwelela)
WE are brothers beyond politics and we should show love to one another especially that we proclaim to be a Christian nation, says PF member of the central committee Mwenya Musenge who was yesterday sent away from Lusaka Central Prison when he went to visit incarcerated UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and former PF member Obvious Mwaliteta.
Mwaliteta, the former Lusaka province minister, was filled with joy upon seeing Musenge.
He could not hold himself but ran to Musenge and hugged him in the passage as officers led the latter to a visitors’ room where Hichilema was kept waiting.
God is so great. I am so touched, I am happy you came to see us my brother. You are a friend indeed,
a joyous Mwaliteta told Musenge who responded,
We are friends beyond all these things and politics my brother.
Musenge, the former Copperbelt minister was, however, abruptly sent out of Lusaka Central Prison, popularly known as Chimbokaila, soon after getting into a room where Hichilema was waiting for him.
As Musenge was ushered where Hakainde was, a prison officer came running and in a state of panic ordered everyone to come out of the room.
Please everybody come out now. Stop everything you want to do and come out! There is some strong message we have received and I want you to help me. Protect me, please help me, I am just trying to protect my job, please understand,
a panicking senior prison officer said.
Musenge and Hichilema just looked at each other and smiled as everyone was forced out of the room.
Hichilema tried to follow in the passage but was stopped as officers refused him to even shake Musenge’s hand.
Maybe they will not allow you to come back but I just want to tell you that I am deeply touched, thank you for coming. Thank you for this effort and this is how it should be. We are friends, we are brothers,
After Musenge and others were ordered to leave, a senior prison officer who was constantly on phone and in a panic mood left Nkombo and Musenge outside as they were later joined by chief Mukuni who wanted to know what had happened.
The prisons officer never returned to give feedback and the visiting time ended.
“We are brothers beyond politics and we should show love to one another especially that we proclaim to be a Christian nation. Jesus taught love. This visit was nothing to do with politics but a personal decision and conviction that we must be humane, we must stand with brothers in such circumstances. I have been incarcerated before, I spent a night at Kamfinsa Prison during the MMD rule and I know what it feels. I spent a night and it felt as if I had been there for over 40 days. What more HH and Mwaliteta who have been there for this long time?” Musenge wondered.
I am PF, I love my party, I love President Lungu and that’s why my message has always been that political persecution must end. Our first president Kenneth Kaunda was incarcerated by the Chiluba regime, Chiluba was also arrested, Rupiah Banda was also arrested and I still feel the PF is in a position to end this persecution. Let’s show love.
He said he went to Chimbokaila to offer solidarity to the UPND leader as people were expected to co-exist in a democracy.
“The visit was short…We hope to come back later when they sort out whatever they want to sort out,” said Musenge who has been asked to exculpate himself by the party leadership for openly speaking on the PF’s poor governance style.
“I am also told he has exceeded the number of those that are supposed to visit him per day. Basically, I came just to offer him solidarity. You know we are in a multiparty dispensation so we are supposed to co-exist. Whatever is happening to him might happen to me tomorrow. And in politics and as politicians, we just want to come up with something that will make us co-exist and be able to love one another, especially that we are a Christian nation.”