A GROUP of South Africa based UPND supporters has advised President Edgar Lungu to “stay away” from Hakainde Hichilema.
UPND SA spokesperson Clifford Nsama yesterday said the group, together with the Southern Africa Political Alliance, was planning to hold a two-day protest at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria to warn President Lungu’s government about corrupt activities as well as to force it to respect the rule of law. He said the Patriotic Front should not think it could forever fool Zambians by maliciously blaming Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba for the country’s ills.
“UPND SA has strongly warned the Zambian government and ‘illegal’ President Mr Edgar Lungu to stay away from opposition leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema and his vice-president Dr Geoffrey Mwamba,” Nsama stated.
“The numerous problems Zambia is facing are a direct result of the inept leadership of Mr Edgar Lungu. There is completely no leadership in Zambia’s presidency. The man has been visionless and clueless from the beginning as admitted by himself. Mr Lungu’s mission in State House has been to loot the economy and only to enrich himself and his cronies.”
Nsama stated that the current problems Zambia faced were a direct consequence of the massive corruption that had been taking place “ever since PF illegally took power.”
“The fire tender corruption saga, the corruption in the procurement of ambulances, the massive corruption in the road construction sector, the looting of donor funds and even recently the $4 million construction of a simple toll gate [on the Ndola-Kitwe carriageway] are just some of the many corruption deals Mr Lungu is overseeing,” Nsama stated. “This is all asides the lamentable and regrettable sale of chunks of the country to the Chinese. He should admit to being the source of the current numerous economic and social unrest and the political problems the country is facing because of his corruption.”
He stated that there was total breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia.
Nsama stated that opposition leaders were not free.
“They keep being threatened with arrest by the Zambian police and being denied permits even to hold press conferences. There is no democracy in Zambia. UPND SA has advanced plans and mobilisation for the protest action,” he stated. “Meanwhile, consultations are underway with local and international lawyers to have a list of Zambian politicians who have been criminally implicated on human rights violations arrested when they visit SA. Human rights are universal and anyone can be prosecuted from anywhere. UPND SA’s lawyers are already working on the assignment and shall surprise implicated Zambian politicians with warrants of arrest. South Africa has a good track record of prosecuting individuals for crimes committed in other countries.”
Nsama stated that the PF government had ruined the Zambian economy and that people were fed up.
On Wednesday, chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya said the government had observed with great concern a new trend by: “Opposition political party leaders and in particular the UPND leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema to package innuendoes, to package untruths – simply lies – as a way to gain popularity.”
“….And also an agenda to incite the citizens of this country to rise against a duly elected government. That is very much against the Penal Code of Zambia where in Article 57 and 60 it also extends to others such as the media that you are not supposed to publish information that will bring a duly elected government into contempt – unless you believe that information to be true,” Siliya said.
“The warning from government is that following the riots in the Copperbelt over ZAFFICO, relevant government wings are going to carry out a thorough investigation on those who were inciting and even those who have the opportunity to re-broadcast this inciting. I want to be clear [that] government is not against the opposition; in a democracy the majority will get their way but the minority must also be heard.”
Asked on what “thorough investigations” the police would be carrying out when Hichilema had already been named as the culprit, Siliya responded: “Clearly, there are procedures within government, particularly Ministry of Home Affairs. We will leave it that they are experts and they know what they are doing.”
Siliya challenged Hichilema if indeed he had any proof that ZAFFICO and ZNBC had been sold, “I’m prepared to resign.”