THE UPND is inciting Zambians to rise against foreigners in the country by alleging that some foreign nationals are illegally involved in helping the Patriotic Front (PF) rig the August general elections, Mumbi Phiri has charged.
Mrs Phiri said it was dangerous for the UPND leadership to inflame people’s emotions by suggesting that the PF had hired some foreign nationals to help the ruling party manipulate the outcome of the forthcoming general elections.
Mrs Phiri said Douglas Siakalima, the UPND special advisor to Hakainde Hichilema , had ‘‘exhibited the worst form of irresponsibility’’ by accusing some foreigners of meddling in the country’s electoral system and that it was important that the peace and diplomatic relations the country was enjoying with other sovereign countries was protected.
She said in an interview yesterday that Mr Siakalima and the UPND had taken a ‘‘dangerous political trajectory and had crossed diplomatic lines’’ by accusing foreign nationals in Zambia of working with the PF to influence the outcome of the general elections in favour of the ruling party and President Edgar Lungu.
She stated that the country had already witnessed some foreigners becoming victims of violence following a spate of ritual killings in the last few weeks and it was therefore politically incorrect for the UPND leadership to call on Zambians to arrest foreigners living in Zambia for political expediency.
Mr Siakalima was quoted in yesterday’s Post Newspaper as having said that three foreign nationals, a Ugandan, an American and an Israeli are allegedly in the country working with the PF to win the general elections this year.
Mr Siakalima was also quoted as calling on Zambians to conduct a citizen’s arrest against Chris Rugari, allegedly a Ugandan national, Adi Timor, an Israeli, and Isaac Livni, an American because, according to the UPND, the trio had been hired by the PF to help them win the general elections.
“The UPND leadership has embarked on a dangerous political trajectory of inciting Zambians to effect citizen’s arrest on foreign nationals living or visiting Zambia. This is the worst kind of irresponsibility a political party can exhibit for the sole purpose of gaining political mileage.
‘‘The PF is winning the general elections not because the outcome of the results will be manipulated but because of its success and good governance record. We have already witnessed foreign nationals who have become victims of violence following a series of ritualised murders and Mr Siakalima is inflaming the emotions of Zambians to arrest our brothers and sisters of foreign origin. It is unacceptable and unfortunate,” Mrs Mumbi said.
She said that Zambians should reject any leader with a propensity of fanning chaos in the country.
Mrs Phiri said she had lived in East Africa and doubted whether the name Rugari could be Ugandan and advised Mr Siakalima to check his facts before issuing alarming statements.
And Mrs Phiri has joined the voices of many Zambians demanding that the UPND leadership should discipline its vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba for verbally abusing citizens.
Mrs Phiri said it was shocking that some church leaders had remained quiet over the insults Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, had been spewing on citizens.
She said instead of the UPND threatening foreign nationals, the opposition political party should take introspection and check the conduct of some of its leaders while aspiring to take up the leadership of the country.