THE UPND has expressed disappointment with a ZNBC report suggesting that Innocent Kalimanshi who has rejoined the PF was forced into exile by infighting in the opposition party.
Kalimanshi fled to South Africa over a year ago after a series of arrests widely blamed on his membership to the UPND.
He left a pending court case for which a bench warrant was issued against him.
But on Sunday evening, a video of Kalimanshi surfaced on social media in which the former Intercity Number 2 announced his intentions to return to Zambia and rejoin the PF.
On his return on Tuesday, he was received by hordes of PF cadres along with a ZNBC TV crew who reported that Kalimanshi fled UPND wrangles.
But UPND national information and publicity secretary Samuel Ngwira described the news report as misleading.
“We have noticed very misleading media reports by ZNBC alleging that Innocent Kalimanshi fled the country into exile in South Africa following wrangles in the UPND,” Ngwira stated.
He stated that as a public broadcaster “with supposedly trained journalists, we expect ZNBC to try and be factual even in their known biased reports.”
Ngwira explained that Kalimanshi was among the many citizens who fled into exile due to constant persecutions and arrests by the “brutal” PF regime from the time he joined the UPND.
“In fact, we are aware that Innocent Kalimanshi, who is still being represented by the UPND lawyers, is currently under court bench warrant for skipping bail on some case, and we wait to see how the PF will handle his matters now that he has rejoined the PF,” he stated.
Ngwira stated that he had no doubt that had Kalimanshi entered Zambia as a UPND member, he would have been arrested at the border like was the case with Chama Fumba aka Pilato.
“These are simple and basic facts that a decent media house can easily get from law enforcement agencies, court records, or even an interview with the UPND leadership,” he stated.
Ngwira stated that the UPND had no grudge against those who rejoin the PF and seek some “temporal relief from the wrath of this dictatorial regime.”
“We wish Kalimanshi all the best as he finally settles back in Zambia. He may no longer be constantly harassed by the PF brutality being a PF member now,” he added.
Ngwira stated that it was not easy to be in the opposition under the current brutal PF regime.
“And these are facts that Kalimanshi should equally know deep down in his heart since he has various testimonies of how he has personally been the subject of political persecution since he resigned from the PF to join our party,” stated Ngwira.