EASTERN Province PF information and publicity secretary William Phiri has asked President Edgar Lungu to help him with money to pay medical bills at Italian Hospital because he cannot afford the high fees.
On Wednesday, a gang of about 30 PF cadres, he alleged were sponsored by Eastern Province PF chairman Andrew Lubusha and his provincial youth chairman Emmanuel Banda, attacked and assaulted him.
The cadres beat him up with kicks, punches while others used huge sticks and was only rescued from the violent attack by guests at Eliboma Lodge in Petauke.
Phiri was part of the burial of Chief Nyamphande.
Phiri sustained chest injuries, head injuries and elbow according to a medical report obtained from Petauke District Hospital.
Phiri, a PF councillor for Kanjala Ward in Chipata Central Constituency, has since being referred to the Italian Hospital which is specialised in bones, following a cracked rib and internal bleeding in the skull.
He said political violence had no place in modern politics as it failed to keep UNIP and MMD in power.
“I have been referred to Italian Hospital that deals with bones, especially that my rib cracked and I have internal bleeding in the skull. I’m appealing to the President for medical assistance because I can’t afford the bill which is too high,” Phiri said.
“Violence is often used to intimidate the opponent especially when it’s time for an election. Businessmen have gathered not to campaign for Edgar Lungu but to protect their business interests. Many people have lost their lives due to political violence. For some of us without businesses to protect, our only business is Edgar Chagwa Lungu to protect in 2021.”
Phiri said it was sad that youths were being used to perpetuate political violence in modern day politics.
Phiri said violence leaves scars and hate in the victims and their families.
“The sponsors of this violence are mainly those that feel their political manoeuvres are being hindered by someone hence they hire innocent youths to push their political agenda in a violent manner. The question now many people ask is why political violence within the same party? Eastern Province PF is the good example of hooliganism staged by the provincial youth chairman Emmanuel Jay Jay Banda. The biggest mistake the party made was to allow this young violent and disrespectful cadre to be in the executive,” he said.
Phiri said chiefs in the province have lost interest and trust in the party due to political violence, which was being allegedly perpetuated by Banda.
He said fear had spread all over and many people were not willing to be associated with a violent party.
“It’s sad that even the provincial chairman Andrew Lubusha has succumbed to the violent leadership of his youth chairman! Zambians are not interested in such politics of violence and it’s a time bomb. The Eastern Province youth chairman has done a proper de-campaigning of his own preferred candidate Edgar Chagwa Lungu for 2021,” Phiri said.
“The issue of me being badly beaten and left for dead was planned by Emmanuel Banda and information has it that he also planned to beat Petauke Central MP Dora Siliya, Msanzala aspiring candidate (His father has interest in the same constituency) colonel Joseph Lungu and Petauke district IPS Rizwaan Patel. The chiefs in Eastern Province, especially Nsenga land, feel insulted by the violence by the PF party which happened on the solemn day as the late chief Nyamphande was being buried.”
Phiri appealed to President Lungu to expel Banda from the party in order to retain the lost confidence of the chiefs and the general membership of the party.
He said PF members were afraid of speaking out because of Banda’s violent behaviour.
“Violence is the major catalyst that removed MMD from power and has potential to destroy any political party that takes the same route. Beating your own party official for speaking the truth shows how easy it is to extend violence to other political parties without sense of remorse,” he said.
“My President, please help the party in Eastern Province. Again I say, I’m not ready to lose power to UPND in 2021. Just remove the bad seed Emmanuel Banda,” said Phiri.