NO ZESCO poles have been cut in Dundumwezi because we do not even have electricity there, says area member of parliament Edgar Singombe.
And Mbabala UPND member of parliament Ephraim Belemu asked those who claim to be leaders in Zambia to “grow up and stop sickening us with their childish tribalism.”
Reacting to President Edgar Lungu’s claim that the opposition UPND was behind the sabotage so as to impede development in Southern Province, Singombe said the Head of State was spreading falsehoods.
“I wish to dispel the information being peddled by Mr Edgar Lungu that there are people deliberately cutting Zesco poles in Dundumwezi Constituency, Kalomo District, Southern Province,” he said.
“The incident being referred to happened in Hamoonde village, Chief Macha’s area which is in Mbabala Constituency, Choma District. It’s very unfortunate that the entire Head of State can mislead the country with falsehoods despite all the various intelligence and investigative wings at his disposal. As a matter of fact, we do not even have electricity in Dundumwezi Constituency, so there are no power lines that can be cut there, and we challenge all the investigative wings to verify.”
Singombe said it is very alarming that an entire President can tell such lies to the nation.
“In any case, why would Mr Lungu think an act of vandalism in any part of Southern Province be treated differently and be labelled as economic sabotage targeted at his PF regime?” he wondered.
“There is documented vandalism of Zesco installations such as transformers, cables, etc, and there is documented cases of vandalism of other government installations such as rail line in various parts of the country, yet Edgar Lungu has never threatened to withhold development in those places,” noted Singombe.
“We call on citizens to ignore the falsehoods by Mr Lungu targeted at the good people of Dundumwezi who the PF keep despising and neglecting in development.”
President Lungu on Saturday said he had verified information that the people who tried to cut the poles belong to the UPND. He said some saboteurs had been arrested.
“I have never been upset in my presidency as when I received a report about someone cutting power lines,” he during a campaign rally in Katuba.
He accused UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema of trying to make him look bad in the eyes of the people of Southern Province by opposing development.
President Lungu said Hichilema does not mean well for the people of Zambia.
But Belemu said the acts took place in Mbabala.
“If someone has not told the truth, then how do you characterise that, if not a lie? I have deliberately not wanted to jump on the bandwagon of ignorant ones or those who deliberately ignore the truth to relish on a purely criminal issue to begin their diabolical tribal inclination talks,” he said.
“For record, I’m the current the Chairperson of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism in Parliament. Coincidentally this year as a committee we have been studying, among others, the subject of rural electrification. The report has been adopted by Parliament and it may be more useful for people to read it than get excited with one incidence of criminality. Second, it’s evil to imagine that a criminal can be encouraged to sabotage any electricity installation by political leaders, unless such accusers themselves are speaking from experience!”
Belemu said both as Mbabala and Dundumwezi constituencies, have been asking for increased police presence and capacities due to a high rate of crimes, including murders that have gone unresolved.
“At no time did we ascribe these crimes to tribe, even if in some cases they are committed by people who don’t speak Tonga,” said Belemu.
“Let those who claim to be leaders in Zambia grow up and stop sickening us with their childish tribalism. What are they saying to my children and so many nieces and nephews whose mothers are not Tonga?”