UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has been asked to take responsibility for the violence that took place in Kitwe and Tourism Minister Jean Kapata says Government will not allow any person to set the country on fire.
Commenting on the Patriotic Front/UPND clash on the Copperbelt on Wednesday, Ms Kapata, who is PF Mandevu member of Parliament, said Mr. Hichilema was the ‘‘cause of the problem’’ because he did not want to heed security advice from both the police and Vice President Inonge Wina.
She accused Mr. Hichilema of causing trouble on the Copperbelt weeks after President Edgar Lungu’s visit.
Ms. Kapata said the prime responsibility of Government was to ensure that there was peace and stability in the nation and Mr. Hichilema’s political visit to the Copperbelt was aimed at inciting people to rebel against the Head of State and Government as a whole.
She said Mr. Hichilema should realise that he was ‘‘not President of Zambia for him to conduct himself in that manner and fashion’’.
She said the UPND leader should realise that this was not campaign time for him to be holding political meetings ‘‘whose aim and agenda’’ was to destabilise the peace and unity the nation was experiencing.
“People should abide by the laws of the land and HH is not head of State. Government had indicated that the situation on the Copperbelt was volatile for political manoeuvres because of issues to do with the mines.
‘‘He knows the kind of crisis on the Copperbelt. President Lungu went there to assure miners and mining firms of Government’s support but days later he goes to undo what the President assured the people,” Ms. Kapata said.
She said Mr. Hichilema ‘‘takes pride’’ in ensuring that people continued to suffer when mines shut down.
Ms. Kapata said the conduct of Mr. Hichilema on the Copperbelt was not genuine but meant to undermine the President Lungu.
“It’s clear now that HH wants so much to compete with President Lungu. But I have to warn him that President Lungu was elected by the people of Zambia and he has the mandate to rule this country until the next election when there will be polls,” she said.
Ms. Kapata said the UPND had shown how violent it was and that the violence the country was experiencing was allegedly ‘‘the creation of Mr. Hichilema’’.
“HH doesn’t want to see peace in this country. He wants this country to be set on fire. HH will have people killed in this country. He doesn’t respect institutions and how can he be President if he wants to abuse institutions of governance such as the police,” she said.
Ms. Kapata said the PF would not allow Mr. Hichilema to behave as if he was president of Zambia, adding that it was time he reflected about what he had done on the Copperbelt.
“UPND are violent people. This is not the first time this is happening. Just a few days ago, some UPND cadres wanted to kill Dandy Crazy in Southern Province where they don’t allow any other tribe to practice or exercise freedoms of movement.
‘‘They have made Southern Province not to be a go area of any other political party. You can’t wear a chitenge material for the PF in Southern Province; if you did that you will be sorted out,” Ms. Kapata said.
She said the PF will not allow lawlessness and would act in the interest of the people of Zambia and democracy.
Ms. Kapata said HH should wait until Parliament was dissolved if he wanted to hold political meetings in the manner he wanted.
“We shall not allow HH to hold meetings in Government institutions as was the case now. We know that he is targeting teachers and miners because of the current situation.
‘‘Let HH have a face of this country by being rational and not irrational. He is desperate and that is why he feels happy to see the country in this situation we find ourselves into.
‘‘I have to remind him that the crisis in the mines was created by him. He was part of the people that privatised the mines and benefited directly or indirectly,” she said.