KATUBA member of parliament Patricia Mwashingwele was yesterday arrested and charged with malicious damage to property. According to UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa, Mwashingwele is accused of having uprooted Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa’s campaign billboard in her constituency. Mweetwa warned that when oppression becomes the order of the day, resistance was no longer an option but an ideal for which “one must live for and if need be die for.”
He said the arrest was a ploy to instill fear in citizens.
“These are the issues which we are going to stand against and I would like PF to remember and take this into their heads that when oppression becomes the order of the day, resistance is no longer an option. It becomes an ideal for which we must live for and if need be die for. They will not shut us up, they can concoct all this, we know that this is a calculated and crafted ploy to try and instill fear…we are not going to be cowed, how can police go and arrest a member of parliament over a billboard which they know as a woman she even has no capacity to do things they are arresting her for?” Mweetwa said.
He said Zambia was slowly sliding down the ladder of its peaceful reputation.
“How can police behave like that when criminals are roaming the street, when criminals are driving big vehicles with flags and are being driven in air conditioned cars yet you go and arrest someone over a billboard? This kind of behaviour is the one that is damaging Zambia’s reputation. Zambia has been known since independence to be a peaceful country, Zambia for most parts of the 54 years of independence, our people have been languishing in poverty, shackled to poverty but they have been proud of one thing even in their poverty and suffering…they have been proud of being peaceful people, living in a free world that PF is attempting to take away, grab from us,” Mweetwa said.
“Even if it takes an arrest, even if it costs life, we are game.”
Mweetwa said citizens would not allow a degeneration of a once peaceful country into tyranny where corrupt people used power to silence the nation.
“The people of Zambia, we know them, will not allow a grouping of people to change history, to change our country and bring another country, a country of tyranny, a country where corrupt people want to use power in order to silence…we are not going to be silenced,” said Mweetwa. “Like, I have said we are ready to live for this and if necessary die for it. We won’t accept to handover a country to our children, which is divided, a country of fear. Things we used to see on TV…Ugandan opposition leader Dr [Kizza] Besigye was bundled and beaten by police but now these things we are seeing them in Zambia…Zambia has been the beacon and leader of democracy in this region. We will stand for democracy whatever it takes…even if it takes arrests, even if it costs life, we are game.”
When contacted, police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo said: “I have not received any information to that effect. I’m receiving queries but I am referring all queries to Police Commissioner Lusaka [Nelson Phiri].”