Patriotic Front MP Kelvin Sampa has fired back after the European Union Parliament rated Zambia among poor performing human rights countries in the wake of the arrest of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.
The EU on Friday voted to check Zambia’s human rights record and assess the fairness in the arrest of Hichilema.
But Sampa, the Kasama MP, accused one of the strongest global trading block of telling lies about Zambia.
“Firstly I do not recall as a member of the Zambian Parliament tabling or indeed discussing a motion within the European Union even if there is plenty to talk about from there!
“It is unbelievable that the European Parliament, with all the available avenues of verifying facts at its disposal, can easily fall for lies purveyed by enemies of the Zambian people.
“This is so especially when they seek to misrepresent happenings of a sovereign nation. We refuse to believe that the EU Parliament would be as gullible as to be moved by half-truths and cheap propaganda emanating from desperate men and women of questionable moral standing,” Sampa says.
Sampa says it is unacceptable that the EU Parliament would entertain a flawed motion, devoid of truthful facts.
“For starters, we do not need to remind the EU Parliament that Zambia is a sovereign country having attained her independence on 24th October 1964 from Britain. We are referring to Great Britain, which exercised its right to leave the EU in a Brexit Referendum Vote.
“Ever since our Independence, Zambia has enjoyed and cherished her political freedom and there is no intention whatsoever to trade it off at the altar of political expediency for anything,” he added.
Sampa said the EU were wasting their time calling for Hichilema’s release.
“We wish to call on the EU Parliament to respect the Judiciary of a Sovereign State as Zambia. We also remind them to consider and follow with keen interest the matters before the Courts of law.
“It is a misnomer to allege that Zambia has slid into dictatorship following Opposition Leader Hichilema’s arrest without considering the legal framework governing the charges he is faced with.
“We would be interested to know from the EU Parliament what should become of Opposition leaders who break the Zambian law. Should they be let to go scot free just because they have friends with money who can mobilize international voices for them?” asked Sampa.
Zambia has been mentioned in the same breath with repressive regimes across the globe with the European Union raising concern over the continued incarceration of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
Traditionally hailed as a shining example of democracy, President Edgar Lungu’s government should be worried that it has been branded as a repressive regime.
Hichilema has remained in custody from April 11 when he was arrested and later charged with treason which is non bailable.