GOVERNMENT has warned opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and his vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba that inciting citizens to rise against the State will soon backfire and they will end up in jail. Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said not only did Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba incite Zambians to rise against the State but also insulted President Lungu at a press briefing held on Monday. And Mr Kambwili said the Zambia police must be responsible because Government would never instruct them to arrest Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba for committing treasonable offence. Addressing a press briefing at his office yesterday, Mr Kambwili said Government would not allow Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba to fan violence and mayhem just because their arrest may be deemed dictatorial in some areas. “The mandate this Government has been given by the majority of the voters who took part in the elections include safeguarding peace in the nation. Therefore, government will not shy away from executing its mandate just because of two frustrated individuals,” he said. Mr Kambwili, who is Roan
Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament, said the defamation of the President in Zambia still remained criminal and Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba’s handlers should have advised him before he recklessly said what he said on Monday. “The President of Zambia right now is His Excellency Edgar Lungu and no amount of posturing will change that Mr Hichilema’s insistence that he is the President of Zambia is not only wishful thinking but treasonable,” Mr Kambwili said. He further warned Mr Hichilema not to incite Zambians by claiming that President Lungu was replacing government officers with people from Eastern province as he alleged in his press briefing, adding that the allegation was unfounded and had no truth in it. Mr Kambwili said to the contrary, President Lungu, unlike Mr Hichilema, had shown that he knew no regional boundaries when it came to appointing people he wanted to work with, adding that the UPND leader’s criticism just showed that he had not changed his tribal mind. “Mr Hichilema is the one who is a tribalist. Just look at the Members of Parliament he has appointed as leaders of the opposition and chief whip in Parliament for his party. They are both from the Southern Province and yet the party has many MPs from the whole North-Western and Western Provinces. “Is Mr Hichilema saying there is not one capable of being appointed leader of the opposition or chief whip for the UPND from all the MPs from other provinces? The answer is simple. Mr Hichilema sees nothing else but tribe in all his dealings,” Mr Kambwili said. He said the behaviour of the UPND leader was tantamount to economic sabotage because his continued issuance of baseless, unfounded and unreasonable statements against the Government was portraying a false picture that Zambia was on fire when it was not. Mr Kambwili said the behaviour had the potential to erode investor confidence and ultimately it was the poor and the ordinary of our people that would suffer through joblessness and other economic hardships as a consequence of such irresponsible and selfish behaviour by Mr Hichilema. “I also dismiss as shallow, childish and trivial, Mr Mwamba’s claim that my appointment as Information and Broadcasting Services minister should have been done earlier if I mattered in the PF government. The assertion is cheap which should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” Mr Kambwili said. He assured Zambians that democracy, contrary to the UPND claims, was there to stay and the Government of President Lungu would not just preach good governance but would allow the rule of law to reign supreme.