It is unacceptable for the United Party for National Development (UPND) to think they own the people in Southern Province to the point of blocking or threatening violence against other political parties. We put it to the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to take full responsibility of the violent attacks which where a threat on the life of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his entourage by UPND thugs.
The violence by UPND in Bweengwa is a serious risk to national security especially that the Head of State was in the area and those UPND thugs must be brought to book. This can only compare to the ANC violence when the likes of late Mainza Chona was almost axed to death in Choma for being UNIP.
UPND has become the re-incarnation of that ANC and founding President Kenneth Kaunda took a decision to ban ANC.
PF demands that Mr Hichilema exhibits leadership by going for principle if at all he has any, to condemn violence within UPND, and not going for the expedience of condoning violence within UPND because it suits him, and only crying foul if or when the converse is true.
It is a failure to provide leadership by UPND leader Hichilema if he cannot take full responsibility for the Bweengwa violence. One asks the plausible question, “is this the reception Mr. Hichilema seeks to be treated with as he tours other parts of the country?”.
He must remember that while President Lungu has directed against any violent attacks by PF members and the membership has obliged, Mr. Hichilema’s UPND must not push the PF and Zambians too far with their violence.
It is a shame that over 24hrs have passed since the UPND orchestrated violence happened and Mr. Hichilema has not condemned the lawlessness by his party.
If Mr. Hichilema was a statesman, he should have condemned the violent attacks in Bweengwa by now. We wish to remind him that after he was attacked at Moba Hotel in Kitwe, President Lungu ordered that perpetrators be brought to book irrespective of their standing in the ruling PF.
That is what being a statesman entails. That is what leadership is all about – principle and not expediency.
We demand that Mr. Hichilema gathers the courage to directly confront the violence and lawlessness in his own backyard before he tempts other parts of the country to give him the same bitter pill of violence which no peace-loving, and progressive Zambian wants to see. We have repeatedly warned Mr. Hichilema regarding the consequences of UPND’s treasured Mapatizya formula.
To this day, UPND continues to celebrate this bloody formula and it is no coincidence that their members have no respect for human life going by the Bweengwa happenings of 13th February 2016.
We also recall how acrimonious Mr. Hichilema’s ascension to the position of UPND presidency was. Our hope was that UPND had repented from its blood-thirsty past.
PF calls on the Church, Civil Society, and Zambians at large to condemn the abduction of Government officers and those from the media fraternity immediately after President Lungu’s rally. This behaviour is only akin to terrorists globally and in being a democratic state, Zambia should not and will not promote this level of lawlessness.
Finally, in defending his political bedroom currently under siege, Mr. Hichilema must urge for civilised means. In this regard, we are calling on the Police Command to bring perpetrators to book, including taking decisive measures to guarantee national security. We hope that the rescue operation of abducted Government officials will lead to arrests and other tough measures by the Police.
There is sufficient evidence, including video footage to assist in the arrest of these UPND thugs. Zambia is not a country at war and we refuse that UPND should unleash terror on this peaceful, blessed country – Zambia.
Issued By: Sunday Chanda, Pf Information Committee