MOVEMENT for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) says the United Party for National Development (UPND) is misguiding itself in demanding for the release of its members arrested across the country because presidential pardon is non-conditional and is a preserve of the Head of State.
MMD national secretary Raphael Nakacinda yesterday said it was wrong for the UPND to purport that its members were incarcerated because they belonged to the opposition because those who were arrested had committed crimes regardless of their political affiliations, adding that there was no justification in the party’s demand for their release.
Mr. Nakacinda said it was wrong for the UPND leadership to demand for the release of its members as a basis for reconciliation when their cases were still under the courts of law and wondered on which premise the party based its argument when its members had not even been found wanting by the courts of law. He said it was hypocritical for the UPND to demand for the release of its members because such a decision was a prerogative of the President and did not need to be induced by anyone because it was unconditional.
He said there was no need for the UPND to cry foul because if their members were innocent as the party had repeatedly said so, they would be exonerated, adding that reconciliation between parties should not come on the basis of conditions spelt out by another political party.
“If they are innocent, the court will exonerate them but if they are guilty, it is after they are pronounced guilty when the President can decide whether to exercise his prerogative of mercy. So, if he is forced to show mercy now; mercy over what?
The UPND has insisted on having its members arrested across the country as the only condition for reconciliation to take place.