Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has decided to commemorate but not celebrate the Golden Jubilee.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that his party would not be part of Government celebrations scheduled for National Heroes Stadium tomorrow.
“UPND recognises that the Jubilee anniversary is an important national event that transcends political party affiliation,” he said
He said the Golden Jubilee was an opportunity for citizens to spend sometime and indulge in serious, deep national reflection.
He added that the 50 years was not about a political party adding that there was only one Zambia.
“This is the Zambia whose 50 years we are all commemorating. It is the Zambia that we hope future generations will celebrate a 100 years and beyond.
No single human being can be greater than our country,” he said.
Mr Hichilema said UPND would not be part of the celebrations because the country had witnessed repression, violation of fundamental human rights among many other violations.
“Since the PF come to power on a platform of lies and deceit the country has witnessed police brutality, political violence, destruction of the rule of law and hampering operations of opposition political parties in the country,” he said.
Mr Hichilema said the freedoms and rights fought for by the country’s forefathers, and the anchor upon which the Jubilee had been founded, had been violated and abused by PF Government.
“That is why we have refused to celebrate.
In the spirit of the Jubilee, these dictatorial acts and behaviour must come to an end and we must as a people open a new democratic chapter for our country,” he said.
He added that failure to do so would be a violation of the Jubilee spirit, and a perpetuation of evil.
Mr Hichilema said UPND shall not wine and dine to celebrate the Jubilee, adding that the party shall commemorate the Jubilee by reflecting on its importance.