WE can’t allow somebody standing in the way of citizens who are hurting, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has told the ruling PF.
He said PF “buffoonery” is shocking.
Hichilema is accusing the PF government of treating the UPND like a pariah organisation that shouldn’t exist.
In a letter dated 9th September 2019 to UPND deputy national youth chairman, Lusaka Province police commissioner Nelson Phiri asked the UPND not to proceed with a youth rally on Sunday.
“We are in receipt of your letter dated 5th September in which you notified police of your intention to hold a youth rally on 15th September 2019. Just like we have advised other political parties before, we advise you that the security situation in the city is not conducive and allowing a gathering like the one you intend to have may lead to break down of law and order,” stated Phiri. “Therefore, we advise you not to proceed with your intentions. As peace loving citizens, we hope you will join hands with us as we put in these precautionary measures to restore the tranquility that supports the peaceful enjoyment of human rights by all. We are always available for possible dialogue with yourselves.”
But Hichilema said the continued blocking of the UPND and other legitimate opposition parties from mobilising was confirmation of PF dictatorship.
“They are shutting us out. But we are saying you don’t have to like HH’s face. At least listen to his advice for the sake of our people. People need to hear from us,” he said. “PF and their surrogate opposition parties are campaigning and moving about. They demonstrate any time they like without notifying police, but they are denying us our constitutional rights to travel around the country. We can’t allow somebody standing in the way of citizens. Citizens are hurting.”
Hichilema said when he warned that the PF under President Edgar Lungu was turning into a dictatorship, people thought he was just weak.
He said UPND had suffered and “we have suffered enough.”
Hichilema said there was no need for a police permit because the law only obliges one to notify the police.
He said the PF was abusing the police service.
Hichilema said when he visited Chongwe and Rufunsa recently, police were following him.
“Over the weekend, in Chawama, and it’s my right to buy tomato for my family anywhere in the country and you saw how police mobilised in huge quantities to stop me,” he said. “Brutality, animal farm and xenophobia against UPND, against Chishimba Kambwili and the NDC is what we see. But PF and their surrogate opposition parties are freely moving around the country. Why not us? Which law are they using? I want to donate in Chongwe where people are starving and they have no water; they say ‘no, just go donate to your people, your animals in Bweengwa’. What kind of minister and government can say that? These people must know that people of Bweengwa and those in Mporokoso are same, are one people – Zambians. Why this hate? Why allow the whole State machinery to crush one people? People are hungry and the few who are eating are saying ‘no, there’s no hunger’.”
Hichilema said the PF doesn’t want multipartism in the country.
“They want a one-party State. But which party should that be? The corrupt PF? No. Where there’s no vision, people perish,” he said. “Why don’t they want us to communicate with people? We go to court, they defy court orders. They don’t respect anything. How can you run a country where there’s no rule of law? What do they expect citizens to do? We’ll not allow a one-party system in this country. PF are beneficiaries of multiparty democracy otherwise if the MMD had treated them the way PF are doing to us, they wouldn’t be in office, they wouldn’t be masquerading as a government.”
Hichilema said PF had failed completely and Zambians would vote them out in 2021.
He said the only thing PF leaders knew was “stealing and stealing, and corruption and corruption.”
“We can even tell them that no political noise from PF will push mealie-meal prices down. It has to be policies and if they had listened to our advice we wouldn’t be where we are as a country today,” Hichilema said. “They are blocking us because they don’t want solutions to come from us. That’s solutions to the problems afflicting the people and not solutions to their [PF] stomachs.”
He said PF was claiming job creation when there was no money to invest in anything.
“How can you create jobs when the money to invest even before it’s earned it is gone?” wondered Hichilema.
“The level of buffoonery in PF is shocking. Look, out of the US $4.2 billion the ZRA [Zambia Revenue Authority] will collect in 2019, $1.6 billion will go to service external debt and $2 billion is for public sector service – emoluments. That will leave us with $0.5 billion to manage other state affairs. And because they have used all the money in the road sector, they’re now travelling all over making money through out-of-town allowances.”