HAKAINDE Hichilema should apologize to Zambians for the violence caused by his members if his call for peace is to be taken seriously, says Lusaka PF provincial chairperson Kennedy Kamba.
Mr Kamba said Mr Hichilema has suddenly chosen to speak peace when it is a well-known fact that he was the same man who has been a ‘‘merchant of violence’’ from the time he started campaigning for the August 11 presidency.
‘‘Mr Hichilema is not the right person to call for peace particularly that he has failed to accept responsibility for the deaths, injuries, damage to property and displacement of families that he has caused through his supporters in Southern, Western and North-Western Provinces,’’ he said .
He said Zambians were intelligent enough to know that Mr Hichilema was hoodwinking them and that his sudden change of mind is not genuine but only resulting from the pressure that he has received from his handlers after his scheme to make the country ungovernable through civil disobedience back-fired.
Mr Kamba said his supporters have been pressuring Mr Hichilema on seeing that apart from losing the election, his reputation and public perception has continued to fall far behind that of President Lungu because of the tactics the opposition party was employing to ensure that they gained power.
‘’The nation and indeed the world is not surprised that the country has experienced the levels of violence in the pre and post-election periods as Mr Hichilema himself is on record declaring, on numerous occasions, that he would not accept defeat to President Lungu and that if this was to ever happen, “there would be Armageddon in the country’’, said Kamba.
He said there was no doubt that violence being perpetrated against PF sympathizers in Mr Hichilema’s strongholds were part of the Armageddon the UPND leader warned about.
He said the violence has even started spreading to parts of Lusaka where markets and public trading places perceived to be for PF supporters have been set ablaze.
‘‘We are not bringing up all this against Mr Hichilema without any basis,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, newly elected Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo said the happenings in Namwala and Lukulu districts serve as a sad reminder of how deeply entrenched ethnic divisions have become in the country.
Mr Lusambo said the attacks and maiming of people including children because they belonged to different tribes are despicable and unZambians.
‘’In condemning the attacks, I wish to categorically place it on record that leader of the opposition UPND Hakainde Hichilema should squarely take the blame for the unfortunate situation happening in Southern Province and parts of Western Province,’’ he said.
He accused the opposition leader of failure to provide leadership and call on his members to remain calm, peaceful and accept the outcome of the election.
‘’The attacks in Namwala and Lukulu where Government and private property has been destroyed should not be treated as isolated incidents but as part of a grand scheme by Mr Hichilema and his gang to instill fear among Zambians and make the country ungovernable,’’ said Lusambo.
He said Mr Hichilema was not the first opposition leader to lose an election since Zambia returned to multi-party politics: ‘‘many distinguished men and women who contested elections in the past lost, accepted and moved on without bringing any tension to this nation’’.