THE opposition alliance has alleged that there is a PF militia in Zambia that is funded by the State, whose purpose is to main and kill political opponents.
And the alliance says it has decided to report some PF individuals to the International Criminal Court for being at the centre of political violence in Zambia.
But PF secretary general Davies Mwila dismissed the allegation as false and wondered why each time there were elections in opposition strongholds there was usually violence.
Addressing journalists at Hotel InterContinental in Lusaka yesterday, opposition alliance chairperson Charles Milupi said Zambia was teetering into a failed State.
The press briefing touched on four “key” issues which included electoral violence which characterised the just-ended Sesheke parliamentary and some local government by-elections.
Other issues were the attempted assassination, by police officers believed to be from State House, of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in Maondo ward of Sesheke Constituency on February 8 and the general breakdown in the rule of law across the country.
The fourth part of the press briefing was about the action being taken by the opposition alliance as a response to the three named issues.
Milupi, who is Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) president, read a statement on behalf of the opposition alliance.
The opposition alliance accused “the PF and its government” of having created two classes of citizens in the country where ruling party members had been categorised as first-class citizens who were above the law and the rest were second-class citizens who were subject to laws of the land.
They wondered why political violence had not only thrived but continued to escalate in Zambia.
“In order to fairly and objectively answer the question of why, it is important to examine this issue of political violence in greater detail, especially as regard to the recent rounds of by-elections in the country,” the opposition alliance said.
“It is common cause that we in the opposition generally blame the ruling PF and its government for the political violence and the ruling PF and its government also generally blame us in the opposition for the political violence and while this blame game goes on, our citizens are being killed and maimed in the name of politics.”
They said in order to determine who was responsible for instigating, facilitating, promoting and funding political violence in the country, between the PF and those in the opposition, “it is necessary to examine who is involved in these incidents of political violence.”
“As opposition alliance, our preliminary investigations have revealed that the PF party and its government have assembled a group of youths whose sole purpose is to perpetuate political violence on the opposition. This group of youths, which for current purposes we have decided to refer to as a PF militia, is mainly stationed at Inter-City Bus Terminus in Lusaka and Kanyama township.
“Some of the members of this PF militia include Francis Muchemwa (aka America 2), Mpange Kachingwe, Abel Mwale, Eddie Gowa (aka America 1) who is a Malawian citizen that was imported to Zambia for the sole purpose of executing political violence, etc.”
The opposition alliance regretted that individuals that formed the PF militia were close acquaintances of President Edgar Lungu, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo, PF secretary general Davies Mwila, the President’s political and press aides Kaizar Zulu and Amos Chanda respectively and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja.
They asserted that the PF militia was well funded by the PF, using taxpayers’ money.
“Apart from regular one-off payments, these PF militia are on the payroll of both the Lusaka City Council and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco), despite the fact that they do not do any work for these institutions. The only work that they do is to maim and kill political opponents,” the stated.
On an attempted assassination of Hichilema by State House police in Sesheke, the opposition alliance indicated that it was left with no option but to conclude that the operation that was aimed at “assassinating the UPND president Mr Hakainde Hichilema, with the aim of eliminating him from the 2021 presidential race.”
They also addressed the issue of the general breakdown in the rule of law in the country.
“As opposition alliance, we are gravely concerned with the increasing levels of lawlessness in the country and we are compelled to ask ourselves if our country has become a failed State?” the opposition alliance noted.
“The PF and its government have essentially created two classes of citizens. Everyone that is affiliated to the PF is considered a first-class citizen who is not subjected to the laws of the land as witnessed by the failure of the Zambia Police Service to arrest PF cadres who staged an unlawful protest at Parliament.”
They stressed that the opposition alliance leaders would not sit idle as citizens were being maimed and killed in the name of politics by the PF and its government, in general and President Lungu, in particular.
“We are also cognizant of the fact that it is very difficult for us in the opposition to get justice from the local judicial system, given the high levels of infiltration of the PF among judicial officers, where they have personal-to-holder judges and magistrates who can never issue a judgment against the PF and its government, no matter the mountain of evidence available,” they said.
The opposition alliance further disclosed that in its quest for true justice, the opposition alliance took a decision to report specific individuals to the ICC in The Hague, for “orchestrating, perpetrating, facilitating, funding and executing a well planned wave of political violence across the country.”
Those who would be reported to the ICC, in the next eight to 10 weeks, are President Lungu, Kampyongo, Kaizar Zulu, Amos Chanda, Mwila, PF cadres in Francis Muchemwa (aka America 2), Mpange Kachingwe, Abel Mwale and Eddie Gowa (America 1).
“As opposition alliance, we have complete trust in the competence, independence and integrity of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and their prosecutors,” said the opposition alliance.
“On this basis, we strongly believe that we if the above listed individuals are not guilty of the crimes that we accuse them of, they shall be acquitted accordingly by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. It must further be noted that the above list may be increased depending on additional evidence that may come into our possession in due course.”
Present at the press briefing were Hichilema, Elias Chipimo, Nason Msoni, James Lukuku, Sean Tembo, Josephs Akafumba and Fresher Siwale.
When contacted, Mwila dismissed assertion that the ruling party had a militia.
“No, no, those allegations are false because the youths that we have are normally the ones we use in mobilising the party. And I want to say that they should not give excuses because all the time when we are having elections in their strongholds, people are killed, people are assaulted. Remember the byu-election we had in Livingstone, a PF cadre was killed,” Mwila said. “So come to Bahati, there will be no issues of violence because us, it is about delivering the message to the people, talking about issues, what we will do for the people. But for them it is between life and death. We cannot run politics like that.”
Mwila said as the opposition go into Bahati, which is a PF stronghold, they do not expect anyone to be assaulted because their politics were civil.
“We are civilised, we can’t b assaulting people. I can bet, come Bahati you will see that it is quiet,” said Mwila.