Zambia has reached break point – Mweetwa

[By Emelia Phiri]

THE nation is anxious and has reached a break point, says Cornelius Mweetwa.

He asked the PF government to explain to the nation what is happening in the country right from electoral violence to tribal sentiments.

Concerns about violence in the Chilubi parliamentary by-election took centre stage in parliament on Wednesday as opposition members of parliament questioned the government’s silence on the matter.

Rising on a point of order, the Choma Central UPND member of parliament wondered why the ruling Patriotic Front instigated violence in a constituency where they were deemed to be popular.

The Chilubi by-election, which resulted from the death of PF member of parliament Rosario Fundanga last November, took place yesterday.

Mweetwa charged that the PF had violated the Constitution by promoting violence against the opposition, thereby threatening the peace of the nation.

“Given the state of the nation, the violence coming out of Chilubi by-election is very disturbing. We have received a lot of reports of violence which is in public domain,” he said. “In Chilubi our colleagues in the party of the PF are on the record stating that wherever there is violence in a by- election, it is in the UPND strongholds. But now the worst violence recorded in the history of political violence in Zambia is happening in Chilubi right now.”

Mweetwa wondered why the government was quiet amidst such violence.

He asked if the responsible wings of government were in order to keep quiet in such a situation.

“Look at the images coming out of Chilubi. I’m laying ground and the rationale to my question because of what is happening. Some of them (MPs) here are comfortable with what is happening in Chilubi,” Mweetwa said. 

“People there are being maimed at the hands of this PF government. The political violence happening in Chilubi is inimical and obnoxious to the unity, progress and peace of this country. Just like tribalism was lashed on UPND when the true tribalists have now come out in the open. Just like Satanism was lashed at the UPND, Seer 1 members have been exposed.”

He said the nation had never reached such a point in terms of violence.

Mweetwa said the situation had gotten out of hand, and needed government explanation.

“Address the nation because the nation is anxious. We have never reached this point before, a break point where we have a government that plays and claims to be democratic. Are they in order to sit the way they are and pretend as if all is well when the nation is anxious and do not know where they are going? Are they in order?” asked Mweetwa.

And ruling on the point of order, Speaker Patrick Matibini instructed home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo to issue a ministerial statement on the matter next Tuesday.

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