YOUTH Development Organisation executive director Partner Siabutuba has urged President Hakainde Hichilema to let go of his intention to appeal against his alleged treason case.
In an interview, Siabutuba said whilst the President had legal grounds to pursue the matter it was better to let things go in the spirit of reconciliation.
“Forgiveness means that you let go of the pain. You let things be. I think that in the spirit of fostering reconciliation, in the spirit of fostering togetherness, I think that the President can just let this issue where he was charged for treason be because sometimes you communicate a lot by keeping quiet,” he urged.
Siabutuba recalled that immediately the President was released through a nolle prosequi, he told the nation and the world that him and those he went with to prison had decided to forgive those that persecuted them.
“He is the President now. We don’t want the whole presidency to exert pressure on the Judiciary. Of course, what happened is not even a question of whether the man was brutalised or abused – I think it happened. He told us that he had forgiven everyone, now he is the President. If he was not the President it was going to be understandable for him to pursue the matter further,” he noted. “Our plea is that he can let off the matter. We no longer have PF that tormented him. The state is a state regardless of who is in office at any time. This must not be misconstrued because when he became President his message at the inaugural ceremony was about reconciliation.”
Siabutuba said the spirit of reconciliation entails that “you don’t pursue things that have the potential to undermine the very spirit of reconciliation”.
“We don’t understand why God had to let him pass through all what he went through and only to reward him with the presidency that he has been pursuing,” he said. “So it could have been God’s making that made him get exposed to things such as prison so that he has a better understanding of certain things as he becomes President.”
And Siabutuba suggested that those President Hichilema went to jail with can pursue the matter because they are private citizens.
“A lot of us have been injured by PF. We were subjected to harsh conditions, we were exposed to expired drugs, we were put in harsh economic situation and gassing but we said its fine. We will use our democratic establishment to sort this thing out instead of being vengeful. We used the ballot and peacefully changed government,” said Siabutuba.