RUPIAH Banda and Levy Mwanawasa were true democrats who never harassed Michael Sata or any other opposition leaders as Edgar Lungu is doing today, says chief Mukuni.
Commenting on the continued oppression of the opposition by the PF government using the Zambia Police Service, the traditional leader whose chiefdom covers Livingstone, Zimba and Kazungula districts appealed to President Lungu to tone down his hatred for opposition leaders.
“After analysing the incidences of the recent past especially on how Harry Kalaba of the Democratic Party has been treated wherever he goes as if he is a rebel leader and how the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has been trailed by police and security agents, I have arrived at a conclusion that had Rupiah Banda under the MMD treated Sata in this manner, the PF would not be in government today,” Mukuni said.
“I even wonder should some opposition leader require urgent medical attention as did Mr Sata in the late hours of the night if President Lungu can order an evacuation of such a politician as did Mwanawasa to Sata. Looking at the meaning of the word ‘democrat’ I now realise that my friend Rupiah Banda is a true son of the democratic world. He and Levy (Mwanawasa) were true democratic presidents that have so far walked the soils of Zambia in that they tolerated the opposition leaders and allowed them to traverse the country without any policemen chasing after their heels or tear gassing cadres. We saw the likes of Edith Nawakwi freely campaign here in Southern Province and other parts of the nation under RB. We saw Sata freely walk the streets and markets of this country without any policeman trailing him with teargas canisters.”
He said Sata once walked to a filling station with a container to buy fuel.
“This today is an odd story and the PF under Mr Lungu has changed the meaning of democracy to that of ‘no one has the choice to choose,” Mukuni observed.
He said the only free Zambians that can at any time donate a genset to a clinic are those that are in PF colours.
Mukuni said it was the duty of every Zambian to give if he or she wants to do so without being stopped by police.
“We have seen HH being stopped from going to a dry dam in Chongwe, now Kalaba has to be ‘perfumed’ with teargas in Samfya when it is his democratic right to address Zambians on various issues affecting citizens of Zambia. Please Mr President, can you call Rupiah Banda and ask him how best you can handle the opposition? Don’t ask trigger-happy chaps like Kaizar Zulu. They will only tell you issues that are bent to protect their dented image and prolong their stay in State House,” he said. “We have people at State House that can even advise you that you need to kill so-and-so, but please Zambians are watching you as a Head of State and not the likes of the so-called KZ.”
Mukuni said Africa needs to honour Zambian leaders such as Dr Kenneth Kaunda for liberating Southern Africa while Mwanawasa and Banda should be recognised as true democrats who fought against corruption and encouraged political freedoms respectively.
“RB [Banda] needs the Mo Ibrahim Award on good governance or the Nobel Peace Prize for the political role he played to allow the PF take over power without any bloodshed, unlike what we are today seeing,” said Mukuni. “We have someone dying every time the police charges, as was done at UNZA when Vespers Shimunzhila was killed. We have someone dying whenever there is an election as was the case in Kaoma. What more 2021 with the armed PF cadres we see standing next to policemen? I fear for this my nation and I wish God can see us beyond 2021 without any more loss of life.”