CHIEF Mukuni says for the first time he found a PF government leader in Dora Siliya speaking wisely.
Commenting on information minister Siliya’s interview on Prime TV on Tuesday evening, Mukuni asked for Siliya’s number so that he could personally call her to show his appreciation.
“She talked as a leader should when commenting on the on-going gassing incidences. She said that everyone who was commenting over the matter was doing so in their personal capacity even if they are ministers as she was the only government spokesperson,” Mukuni noted. “She added that the issues must not be politicised because people behind the gassing incidences might as well be PF members or members of the opposition such as the UPND. I found this highly responsible and wise comments from a government minister and I want to congratulate her. For the first time I heard a minister speak wisely instead of finger pointing like others are doing against others when the police is still pursuing the matter. Please help me with her number if you can, I want to congratulate her.”
He also called for calm in the country and urged citizens to help the police and other security agents do their work professionally.
Mukuni said security issues should not be politicised.
“Let’s cooperate with the police and avail them information that may help them stop these gassing issues. Let’s not point fingers at political leaders just because we hate them,” urged Mukuni.
On Tuesday, Siliya explained that Zambians have found it difficult to comprehend the gassing episode.
She said the government regarded gassing as a criminal attack on Zambians.
“People have lost their lives, not just those who have been victims of spraying but those who have been victims of even gas spraying have been lynched, in terms of mob justice. Those people who have lost lives are fathers, mothers, children of somebody,” Siliya said. “This has been very difficult for a lot of Zambians, to be honest. It is something that they have found very difficult to comprehend. What is happening in our country? I think to reduce it to just politics by us in government would not be the right thing. That’s why we are saying ‘let the police tell us’.”
The minister pointed out that there could be no politics in an environment of crime.
“There will be no family happiness in an environment of such criminal terror [and] there will be no economic growth. We are saying let us get back our country’s pride of being known for peace and say we refuse this criminal activity,” Siliya said. “Everything must calm down now because we cannot take justice in our own hands. People have to go to the police and report…Innocent lives have been lost and we don’t want any more innocent lives [to be lost]. We really must commend the police for truly getting to the bottom of this, under very difficult circumstances because it happened in so many places at the same time.”
She explained that gassing was nothing but a criminal activity and that “we must separate it from politics.”
“These are criminal elements; there’s no excuse for politics here. Politicians are in the business of improving people’s lives. It is not for us in government to determine who is involved. We are waiting for the police to tell us and those people will go to court,” said Siliya. “Our politics will continue and we’ll continue to agree and disagree and disagree strongly. But what we are seeing is not politics – this is criminal behaviour. It’s got nothing to do with politics. It’s just criminals and the President has been right to call it for what it is.”