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PF has gone down because of violence – Lungu

OUTGOING President Edgar Lungu says just like UNIP and MMD, the PF has gone down because of violence.

He said this in Solwezi yesterday where he went to attend the burial of North-Western Province PF chairman Jackson Kungo.

Kungo was killed by a crowd of voters at a polling station in Solwezi last Thursday.

Zambians overpoweringly voted out President Lungu in the August 12 vote, when he garnered only 1,814,201 votes, against President-elect Hakainde Hichilema’s 2,810,757.

From the time he assumed the Republican presidency in January 2015, political thuggery got rooted in Zambia, especially in markets and bus stations.

PF cadres went on extorting money from bus operators and marketeers, and President Lungu never voiced out about such sheer criminality.

If they were not reigning terror in markets and bus stations, PF cadres were out beating up anyone spotted in UPND attire or those critical of President Lungu.

While officiating at the opening at the new terminal building at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka on August 10, 2021, President Lungu told the gathering that political cadres are part of his office.

But yesterday a sulky President Lungu said electoral violence was not envisioned when: “Dr Kaunda, Dr [Frederick] Chiluba agreed, amongst many other Zambians, to introduce multiparty democracy in this country.”

“What we are experiencing is terrorism under the guise of democracy and we should say no to that. In 2012 when I was a deputy minister, I met a traditional leader in Western Province who told me that violence is what brought down UNIP, violence is what brought down MMD, and violence is what will bring down…” President Lungu said. “And I’ll tell you one secret; when we met with President-elect Hakainde Hichilema, I told him point-blank that UNIP lasted [for] 27 years and they went down because of violence, MMD lasted [for] 20 years [and] they went down because of violence.”

He said: “we [as] PF have gone down [after] 10 years, because of violence and you (UPND) will be lucky to go beyond five years because of the violence that I’m seeing today in Zambia.”

“I’m saying this because I have seen trending videos showing harassment of police, older citizens, torture of members of the Patriotic Front, destruction of property…When I met President Hakainde Hichilema, President-elect, I said ‘please, control your people’,” President Lungu said. “[But] he says ‘you are still Commander-In-Chief, you should be the one to do it.’ But I can assure you that unless he comes out firstly and sort his people, his government will not reign beyond five years, because Zambians are fed.”

The Head of State assured Hichilema that: “we’ll work together, within the realm of the law, to ensure that this country remains safe.”

“I’ll hand over power in safe manner. It is for that reason that we’ve been appealing to PF cadres and officials to calm down and call for police protection, until we hand-over office,” he said. “If we begin fighting back, this country will plunge into a civil war. What happens when two people fight, the beneficiaries are others who are not even fighting.”

He continued, saying: “if you destroy this country, others [who are] not Zambians we’ll benefit from our wars – they will come here as peace-keepers.”

“They will come here to do the mining, to do everything, whilst we’ll be looking for a peaceful solution to go into the future,” President Lungu noted. “The attack on Mr Kungo by a gang of criminals masquerading as UPND party cadres protecting their vote was unwarranted, as he was just going about doing his party functions.”

He claimed that Kungo was targeted, amongst many others in North-Western Province, as victims to be “slaughtered” because: “they thought he was influencing the change in the province, in favour of PF.”

He said: “this culture of violence we are seeing now is alien – it’s not a system we choose in 1990 when we moved from a single party to multiparty democracy.”

“What we are seeing now is utter terrorism and all those involved in this must be punished under our laws,” President Lungu charged.

Meanwhile, President Lungu said he was under pressure from his colleagues in the PF to petition Hichilema’s victory, but that he refused to buy that.

“This time around I felt under pressure by some of my colleagues that we should consider going to court and petition the election result. But I said it’s a waste of time, because at the end of the day, the tension that we experienced in 2016 was not worth it…” said President Lungu, angrily. “I said let’s just give up. Those who want to petition their parliamentary seats can do so but this [presidential] petition will not help us. And that’s how I abandoned it.”

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