UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says it is unfair for his party leadership’s meetings to be stopped by Police when President Edgar Lungu had the freedom to go anywhere.
And Mr Hichilema has warned the police service and every uniformed worker that had allegedly become partisan that their days were numbered and that they would not be tolerated in his government if he wins elections this year.
But Patriotic Front deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has advised Mr Hichilema to accept that he could not have equal privileges with the Head of State as the Presidency was privileged and mandated by the law to travel around the country.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND leadership intended to confront Inspector General of Police
Kakoma Kanganja to demand an explanation on the difference in the application of the law between President Edgar Lungu and the opposition leadership.
“This week we are meeting the Inspector General of Police, we want to ask him which law he is using to take away our freedom of movement, which law he is using to take away our freedom of assembly. We will carry the constitution to show him the clauses that give us the freedoms. With regards the Public Order Act we are carrying a bunch of notifications for the meetings we have not been allowed to hold illegally, so we need to know from the Inspector General of Police which law he is using to stop us from moving when (President) Lungu is moving every day,” he explained.
He was addressing a press briefing in Lusaka after receiving defectors from MMD which included former vice president Lupando Mwape and former Minister of Gender Rose Banda.
But Ms Phiri said the problem with the UPND leader was that he did not realise that President Lungu was the Head of State and not a presidential aspirant.
“The problem with HH is that he does not realise that Mr Edgar Lungu is the republican president. Until it sinks into his head that he is only the leader of an opposition political party. President Lungu has the mandate of the Zambian people and is free to go to any part of the country to see the development which is going on, so he should differentiate himself from an elected and sitting president,” she said.