Stop violence, UPND told


THE Patriotic Front (PF) has condemned the violence that has broken out in regions where the UPND is strong and has appealed to Hakainde Hichilema to prevail over his supporters who are pursuing and attacking people who are sympathisers of the ruling party.

PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said there was no need for the UPND to resort to violence and shed blood of innocent citizens and cautioned that Mr Hichilema would be held accountable for the violence if it was not going to be stopped.

Mr Bwalya said Mr Hichilema should show leadership and prevail over his members and stop the violence in Southern Province because such uncivil acts had the potential to spark civil strife in the country.

He said in an interview that this was the time for Mr Hichilema to demonstrate love for the country and its citizens by denouncing the violence that had broken out in the UPND stronghold.

He said since the UPND had announced that they were going to challenge the election of President Lungu in the courts of law, it was important for the opposition party to have confidence in the judiciary.

Mr Bwalya said if the UPND was not going to halt the spontaneous violence in Southern and North-Western Provinces, the petition to challenge the election of President Lungu would be in futility.

He explained that since the violence had broken out in regions that largely voted for Mr Hichilema, other people from other regions who voted for the opposition leader would begin to think they did not have a place in the UPND.

“Mr Hichilema should demonstrate leadership and love for the country by prevailing over his supporters especially in Southern Province who overwhelmingly voted for him by stopping the violence that has erupted in his stronghold. Continued violence in Southern Province and other areas where the UPND is strong has the potential to divide the country and spark civil strife.

“We are disheartened that some people who are sympathisers of the PF are being pursued with the aim of killing them. There is no need for the UPND to shed blood and destroy property. Mr Hichilema should act to save lives and protect public property,” Mr Bwalya said.

He said the people who were being pursued in Southern Province had relatives in other regions and there was a danger that such acts were putting the lives of people in other regions at risk.

Mr Bwalya said it was better for Mr Hichilema’s political ambitions to be delayed than to have the entire country set on fire.

He stated that the UPND was happy with the violence that had broken out in Southern Province because they were of the miscued hope that President Lungu would hand over power to Mr Hichilema.

“The PF has not stolen the UPND vote and we are asking our members to celebrate the victory without provoking others,” Mr Bwalya said.

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