FORMER first lady Maureen Mwanawasa should be condemned for declaring Zambia as a failed State, human rights and governance advocate Ngande Mwanajiti has said.
Mr Mwanajiti said such accusations and outbursts were unacceptable
He said the comments by Dr Mwanawasa following the violence in Shiwanga’andu on Friday could undermine democracy and efficacy of the institutions affected.
A UPND campaign team comprising Dr Mwanawasa, Lunte parliamentarian Felix Mutati, former Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Mutale Nalumango and Lubansenshi lawmaker Patrick Mucheleka was attacked by machete-wielding suspected PF supporters when the quartet arrived in Shiwanga’ndu to address a rally.
Several people were injured in the fracas which police at first failed to control until reinforcements were called.
A helicopter carrying the UPND officials to the rally was almost rammed by a PF-branded Land Cruiser in the confusion that ensued.
But Mr Mwanajiti said in a press statement issued yesterday that there was need to respond to all these challenges with soberness, responsibility and patriotism beyond a particular interest.
“According to Dr Maureen Mwanawasa, Zambia is a failed State simply because there was a clash between opposing camps and the unfortunate incident that caused fear, anguish and possibly loss of life. Quick action by police saved the day.
“Yes, we have seen the video depicting confusion, but we must go beyond the video to establish what really happened before expressing such strong sentiments about the status of our country beyond our ‘no to violence’ posture,” he said.
“For now we are concerned that there are apparent efforts to ridicule the Zambian Government as a whole,” he said.
And Mr Mwanajiti has also called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to work with other stakeholders to establish the validity and truth of UPND vice-president Canisius Banda’s accusations that ballot papers have been smeared with a special chemical.
Recently, Dr Banda alleged that UPND had information that the ECZ would interfere with the transmission of results to make his party lose the election.
Mr Mwanajiti said if it was established that the allegations were untrue, the law must “be applied fairly but firmly and with the urgency it deserves”.