IT IS clear that the United Party for National Development (UPND) and its leader Hakainde Hichilema have a strategy to thrive on the misfortune befalling the Zambian people in a desperate effort to form government, Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has said. He said Government was disappointed with comments attributed to Mr. Hichilema that citizens should pray harder ahead of the Armageddon on August 11.
Mr. Kambwili was reacting to Mr. Hichilema’s statement in The Post newspaper of yesterday, where he stated that the recent riots in Livingstone and Lusaka were a result of hunger and not ritual murders and that the rioters should be treated with caution and restraint.
The minister reiterated that Zambia was a Christian nation and that no amount of ill will shall condemn the country to violence.
“It is clear that Mr. Hichilema and his UPND wished the riots had continued so that Zambians would panic and turn against their Government, but God forbid! This explains why he is quoted as questioning the deployment of soldiers in the streets to quell last week’s riots,” he said.
Mr. Kambwili stated that Mr. Hichilema’s hopes for violence across the country ahead of the elections would not work as Zambia was a peaceful country.
He appealed to Zambians to desist from political violence and remain peaceful throughout the election period.
“Government’s message to the people of Zambia is that let there be peace throughout this election period because politicians that are hoping there would be violence have the means to abandon the country and seek asylum in other countries if the country became ungovernable,” he said.
Mr. Kambwili also cautioned Zambians against believing Mr. Hichilema’s promises of mealie meal price reduction as he was on record as having promised farmers that under his leadership, Government would be buying maize at K150.
He said the PF government had endeavoured to bring the price of mealie meal down by subsidising the commodity.
“HH and his party are hypocrites; we challenge HH to tell us how much would be the price of mealie meal in the unlikely event that UPND forms government? The PF government has worked hard to make the commodity affordable to the Zambian people.
“We expect it to sell at K75 a 25 kg bag of breakfast and K65 a 25 kg bag of roller meal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili condemned the harassment of journalists by UPND cadres in Siavonga on Saturday.
He warned all political parties and their cadres against attacking journalists, saying that journalists should be left to carry out their duties freely without fear of being harassed.
“All political parties must stop harassing journalists but instead they should accept them because that is their duty,” Mr. Kambwili said.