HARRY Kalaba says President Edgar Lungu has gone too far and the opposition will not allow him to further shrink the political space.
Reacting to police’s decision to cancel Chishimba Kambwili’s rally in Chipata and blocking all radio stations from hosting him, Kalaba said the act was outrageous adding that President Lungu had gone beyond his call.
“What is this happening in our country? Is this democracy? Why is President Lungu so desperate?” he asked. “No, Mr President, we can’t stop. If this is how Lungu wants to be running the government, where he should be the only political player on the political space, then he should just be ready to arrest some of us. We’ll not allow him to proceed on that path.”
Kalaba said Zambia migrated from the one party participatory democracy in 1991 to allow for various political views and discourse.
“What power is the police using to seal off radio stations?” he asked. “The same thing happened to me when I was in Mpika. Police sealed off radio stations. The same thing happened to me in Petauke, and my vehicles were smashed in Kasempa by PF cadres and police officers were watching.”
Kalaba said the only person police were protecting was President Lungu.
“No, Mr President. No, no, no, this is a democracy. Look at Hakainde Hichilema; police wanted to remove him from the church [last Sunday in Ndola]. What kind of thinking is that? In a Christian nation!” he said.
Kalaba said instead of encouraging opposition leaders to attend church service and pray, the PF regime was discouraging them from repenting.
“What kind of thinking is this?” he wondered. “He [President Lungu] is going beyond his call. Hakainde Hichilema, Chishimba Kambwili are all leaders in their own right and deserve respect and political space. Rupiah Banda was not like this. If Rupiah Banda was treating Michael Sata like this, tension in the country would have been more.”
Kalaba said president Levy Mwanawasa allowed the opposition to conduct their work because he appreciated Zambia was a democracy.
“What’s special now that the able leader won’t allow us? No, it won’t work. It’s outrageous,” said Kalaba.