CHARLES Milupi says President Edgar Lungu and his government are worried over the issues the opposition want to take to the International Criminal Court hence their response with insults and crude language.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, Milupi, who is also chairperson of the Opposition Alliance, said their investigations had revealed that the PF had assembled a group of youths whose sole purpose was to perpetrate violence.
The Opposition Alliance resolved to report President Lungu, his Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo, PF secretary general Dabvies Mwila, Chanda, Kaizar Zulu and some four PF cadres to the ICC for various crimes against humanity.
Others include – Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja, and PF cadres Francis Muchemwa (aka America 2) Mpange Kachingwe, Abel Mwale, and Eddie Gowa.
This follows the alleged shooting at Hakainde Hichilema and his supporters in Sesheke that forced the opposition leader to hide in the forest for close to eight hours.
But On Friday State House said President Lungu would not be bullied into dialoguing with people whose brain was the size of a rat.
Earlier, he told The Mast that “those lunatics have no jurisdiction” in ICC that he said only recognised State parties.
He also said there was no truth in the “rubbish uttered” by the opposition alliance.
Chanda said President Lungu had instructed justice minister Given Lubinda to engage and invite the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Commission to look at the Opposition Alliance’s claims that four government officials, including himself, were perpetrating electoral violence.
In an interview, Milupi said Milupi said: “Whenever serious issues are being addressed by those who are serious and you get the other side coming in with insults, crude language then you know that you have hit the spot. It means that the issues you are raising, they are fully aware of them and are worried about them,” Milupi said.
“Because in Zambia today, we are talking about Democracy, we are talking about preserving democracy, not being violent, respecting the rule of law and institutions of this country…talk about respecting the resources of this country so that we do not siphon them into our own pockets through corruption. That is the perfect path we want and we should aim at. Those that feel that to fight those who are fighting these things you can deal with them with personal crude insults shows that they have lost it. The brain that is the size of a rat, what does that mean? We are the ones who are aggrieved because we are the ones who are stopped from exercising our basic rights. We are the ones who relate to those who are suffering from the ills of corruption in this country. We are the ones who relate to those that are maimed, killed by the violence just to preserve their hanging on to power.
“Despite the fact that we are the ones denied opportunity to employment, we are the ones with relatives who are retired in national interest so we are the ones, together with the Zambian people, feeling the very heavy burden of this type of rule but we are not the ones insulting, we are the ones who are civil in our language. The ones perpetrating are the ones who are coming out with this language and the ones who declare the national day of prayers. And as we are a Christian nation, they are the ones who should be the guardians of that declaration of a Christian nation, that sort of language whatsoever has no place in a Christian nation. And they have put a Minister in charge of Religious Affairs, we expect her to come out. What is her role when morality of the country is deteriorating at this level, perpetrated by those who hold power? We want to hear a comment from her; she gets paid to be the guardian of morals of this country.”
Milupi said President Lungu and his group know what they have been up to.
He said their intension was to make sure that everybody in the country was cowed down and for the whole country to do things according to their will.
“If they want to win a by-election, they just command and win; if they want to win a general election or any lection, they just do it and no one will raise even a finger, that’s their desire. They are angry because people have stood up and said ‘no, this not the Zambia that we know’…that makes them even angrier. And when it makes them angry they lose their common sense and therefore what comes out like this…you know when you are angry, what comes out of your mouth is not properly weighed by your head, there is a disconnect between your head and your mouth, things that come out anyhow…they are lashing out on us,” Milupi said.
He said those in leadership should weigh their language and issues they brought to the fore.
He lamented that every time the current leaders open their mouths, wrong things come out.
Milupi asked who was exhibiting characteristic of a rat between those helping themselves to the national coffers and those pointing out the wrongs.
He said it was only a rat that helped itself to things it did not work for and loot with impunity.
And Milupi said he was not afraid of being sued as it would give him a chance to reveal more on how the country was being looted through corruption.
Milupi also expressed delight that the PF government, at long last, had seen the usefulness of the International Criminal Court by inviting them when not long ago they were trying to pull out.
“They even spent about K2 million in trying to get Zambians to agree with them to pull out of ICC. We are glad the Zambian people saw through their scheme and overwhelmingly refused to go along with the PF for Zambia to go out of ICC. If they have now seen its usefulness, it’s good,” Milupi said.
In 2017 the government spent over K2 million on countrywide consultations on whether Zambia should leave the ICC or not after the African Union AU asked all African countries who are members of ICC to withdrew their membership.
But in May 2017, the Ministry of Justice announced that the opinion sampling undertaken by the government revealed that the majority wished Zambia to remain in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The results released by the Ministry of Justice shows that about 93.3% of those consulted affirmed that Zambia should continue to be part of the ICC.
Meanwhile, Sean Tembo yesterday said the Opposition Alliance had noted with interest the decision by President Lungu to invite prosecutors of the International Criminal Court to come to Zambia and investigate state sponsored acts of political violence against opposition members.
“From our standpoint, we take it that President Lungu is willing and ready to cooperate with ICC prosecutors and investigators, which is a welcome move,” he stated in a statement.
Tembo, who is chairperson of the media & finance sub-committees opposition alliance dismissed Chanda’s statement that the ‘State sponsored political violence’ does not fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
“We wish to draw the attention of Mr Amos Chanda, and through him, that of the nation to article 7 sub-article 1(h) of the Rome Statute which reads ‘…for purposes of this statute, crimes against humanity means persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on the basis of political, racial, ethnic…or other grounds….’ Therefore, the state sponsored political violence by the PF and its government perfectly meets the definition of crimes against humanity and is within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” Tembo stated.
Tembo also told Chanda that article 15 sub-article 2 of the Rome Statute clearly indicates that an ICC Prosecutor could receive evidence from both state actors and non-state actors. “Therefore, there is no question that the ICC will admit the bundle of evidence which the Opposition Alliance, through its local and international lawyers, has assembled which clearly outlines that the PF political violence against the opposition is orchestrated, directed and funded by the Government of the Republic of Zambia,” he stated.
“We have also noted the attempt by Mr Amos Chanda to try and isolate President Charles Milupi, who is also the Opposition Alliance chairperson, with a lawsuit. It must be noted that President Milupi merely read the Wednesday Press Statement on behalf of the Opposition Alliance. The statement itself is a collective position of all the member political parties of the Opposition Alliance, and not necessarily that of any single member. Therefore, if Mr Amos Chanda wishes to take any legal action against the Opposition Alliance for announcing that we are reporting him and his colleagues to the ICC, he must direct that lawsuit to all the 12 members of the Opposition Alliance,” he stated.
“We have also noted with regret the insatiable appetite of the Presidential Spokesperson to use insults and other derogatory words such as rats, idiots etc., in addressing leaders of the Opposition Alliance. As a civil servant whose salary is paid by the poor taxpayers of this Republic, we would like to advise Mr Amos Chanda to tone down and use civilised language to engage one another, the way the Opposition Alliance has consistently done towards the PF and its Government. As the Opposition Alliance, we respect President Lungu and it is our expectation that President Lungu himself together with his people around him, are going to conduct themselves in a respectable manner towards ourselves. There is no harm whatsoever in respecting one another, even as you disagree strongly with one another.”
Tembo stated that the decision to report fellow countrymen to ICC in The Hague was not arrived at easily, but with painstaking introspection.
“At the end of the day, it boiled down to one of two things; whether to allow the impunity of the PF and its government to orchestrate, perpetrate and fund political violence against the opposition, and convert a portion of the Zambia Police Service into a militia of the PF, or for us as opposition to stand up and put a stop, once and for all, to this mayhem of torture, maiming and murder of citizens of this Republic in the name of politics,” stated Tembo. “As earlier reiterated, if the 10 identified individuals are not guilty of crimes against humanity, then they shall be cleared accordingly by the ICC in The Hague.”