Franklin Membe says President Edgar Lungu has failed to relate professionally with the Special Division (SD).
Membe, the National Democratic Congress chairman for economy and national development planning, says the failed “weapons search” raid on the farm of Hakainde Hichilema’s in-laws in Shibuyunji by police last week was inspired by hatred for the UPND leader.
“We have a very well organised and professional SD. There is no way they could have ill-advised the President. This intelligence mishap could be attributed to cadre intelligence sources,” says Membe, while urging Edgar to find a way of either disbanding the cadre movement or employing them at his ministers’ farms. “Our respected police have been reduced to security guards while cadres reign supreme. Can someone please advise President Lungu that his hate for HH is inspired by the devil and not God! There is no way HH can turn Zambia into a Tonga dynasty. How, with more Northerners in the [UPND] National Management Committee and alliance partners with mixed tribes? Let us not fuel possibilities of genocide in Zambia. There are certain levels of hate people cannot tolerate. Leave HH alone. Use Special Division briefings and carry out proper investigations before embarrassing innocent senior citizens with police brutality. There was only one Adam and one Eve and all of us – red, yellow, white, black, brown – are their descendants and now children of Abraham and our God. Tribalism is a crime against humanity. Arrest anyone fuelling sentiments of tribalism. Hate will not solve anything. God has told us that love casts out evil. If there is any evil with Tongas, let’s love them because love ‘casts out fear’. It’s love we need, not hate. Wake up Zambians.”
The use of state machinery to cripple the opposition continues to define Edgar Lungu’s tenure and legacy. It may get worse ahead of the August 12 Presidential and General Elections – especially if or when his desire for an unconstitutional third term meets resistance.
We are told that any functioning democracy is characterised by, among others, elected representatives, civil liberties such as freedom of speech, expression, etc, a judiciary free from the control of the executive, an organised opposition to keep a check on the government, and rule of law – whereby no one is above the law.
Under Edgar all these characteristics pertain only to him and his close PF minions. He essentially wants to run Zambia as President and an opposition party to himself – he should reign supreme and be only answerable to his own ego, conscience!
Who hasn’t he harassed, if they constitute a threat to his political interests? Look at how he has treated Hakainde and Fred M’membe. Look at how he has treated Chishimba Kambwili, Harry Kalaba and Kelvin Fube Bwalya, expelling from the PF the very people who sacrificed so much to help him get elected as President?
He cares for nothing and no one but himself.
Edgar has abused every State institution in furthering his political agenda. And this new episode over Hakainde is just a reminder that Edgar is yet to commit more malfeasance in his attempts to entrench himself in power. However, these methods are not only unacceptable in a country endeavouring to be a Christian nation, they are also unjust, immoral and ungodly. The Bible guides us to do good to our enemies – perceived or real. The Word of God is clear: “Love your enemy.” Love is of God, for God is love. Conversely, hatred is of the devil who comes only to “steal, kill, and destroy”.
As Reverend Membe has warned, President Lungu should be advised that his hate for Hakainde is inspired by the devil.
As Marina Caparini aptly put, “Intelligence services in repressive regimes are often a key means of maintaining power, and are used to identify domestic political opponents and neutralise opposition to the government. When supporting a repressive regime through ‘political policing’, these services are frequently involved in human rights abuses, pervasive surveillance and harassment of citizens, extra-legal detention, torture, and extra- legal executions.”
This repression, brutality perpetrated against opposition leaders must come to an end.
An opposition is never an enemy of the state in a democracy.
There’s need to ensure no state institution, be it police, judiciary or the intelligence and security services, influences or interferes in party political competition.
Let Edgar take stock of his actions. Wrong deeds always receive their comeuppance. Always.