THE National Democratic Congress says it is information minister Dora Siliya that is insulting President Edgar Lungu and not the youth.
NDC deputy national spokesperson Chipoka Mulenga says history has it that Siliya has a record of insulting and abusing “presidents”.
He said Siliya should prove which youths have insulted President Lungu.
“It is quite baffling to hear Hon Dora Siliya insinuating that youths are using social media to insult President Edgar Lungu. She claims Zambians are abusing social media. This is a fallacy, a claim that is neither here nor there. If there is someone that has abused a president in this country, it is Dora Siliya herself. Memories are fresh when Dora Siliya raised a middle finger in the House, parliament, against the then president Michael Sata, an act that is utterly unacceptable by any standard of morality. Yet, president Sata expressed tolerance and forgiveness towards Hon Siliya’s unbecoming behaviour,” Mulenga said. “As NDC, we challenge Dora Siliya to provide proof of any youth that has been insulting President Lungu either on social media or any other public forum other than demanding for social justice and delivery of campaign promises by the PF. Dora Siliya and the PF government must learn to draw concern from people’s opposing views and learn to improve their ways of governing. There is too much ruling under PF than governing.”
He said Siliya should be concerned about what the government would do for the youth.
“We expect Hon Siliya to be speaking the mind of the government on development as opposed to repeated issuing of threats and sanctioning of arrests of people that speak against the tyranny leadership that the PF government has embraced. All the youths are asking for is justice for all. Equitable distribution of national wealth, an end to corruption, an end to auctioning the country to Chinese, an end to giving away land to foreign nationals, an end to closing local businesses in preference to foreign ones,” Mulenga said. “For this noble cause, the youths are threatened with breaking bones and facing police brutality. For a just cause, the youths are called stupid and disgruntled. For demanding what is right, the youths are sent to hide in the bush in fear of police brutality. Dora Siliya, be reminded that the chasing of Zambians into the bush ended with Dr Kaunda as he struggled for our independence against the the colonisers. Allow the Zambians to express themselves freely. Peaceful demonstration is legal and accepted world-over. It is not an assault on the presidency nor the government, but a legitimate manner of seeking attention from the powers that be.”
He said Siliya should sober up when dealing with national issues.
“Therefore, Hon Siliya, be sober and reasonable in dealing with national matters. Especially when raised by the youths whose interests you are meant to serve. As NDC, we demand the immediate release of Chellah Tukuta from police custody. We hear he has been transferred from Lusaka police custody to Copperbelt Province without charge. To date, no warn and caution statement has been recorded from him. It is illegal to detain someone for so long without being charged. We demand that the law takes its course other than political emotions abusing the law enforcement channels,” said Mulenga.
As information minister in the MMD administration of Rupiah Banda, Siliya frequently disparaged the then opposition PF and its founding leader Sata, saying the party would never form government.
Siliya was also on record saying Sata would never become president.
Sata was however elected in 2011 and the MMD became one of the opposition parties in parliament.
Siliya remained in the MMD and only defected to the PF following Sata’s death.
President Lungu, who succeeded the late Sata, first appointed Siliya as agriculture minister before making her information minister. She is also chief government spokesperson.