Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, has labelled the move as dictatorial and pre-determined by the PF leadership.
Below is his full statement:
STATE OF EMERGENCY DESIGNED TO SILENCE OPPOSITION AND CRITICS
Country men and women, Edgar Lungu’s invocation of the Threatened State of Emergence is unnecessary and constitutes abuse of power designed to silence his critics and kill democracy and human rights in our beautiful land. It is clear that his actions are premeditated and designed to strengthen the hand of dictatorship.
There are adequate laws in Zambia which can be used to deal with any crime. Cases of arson can easily be dealt with under the Penal Code and other relevant pieces of legislation. They do not require a State of emergency to arrest arsonists.
What is required at this stage is for the police to undertake a thorough investigation and bring the culprits to book while ensuring that the Local authorities and Disaster Management Unit assist those affected by the fires to start a new life.
What is surprising is that even before investigations are concluded, Edgar Lungu and his officials Inonge Wina , Mwakalombe， stephen Kampyongo and Mumbi Phiri have already predetermined this case and the investigation may neither be thorough nor genuine.
It was also shocking that Lungu could accuse the opposition of being behind these acts of arson claiming they want to compel him and PF to hold negotiations and form a government of national unity.
To begin with, UPND has never sought and asked for discussions with PF for a Government of National Unity and we challenge him and the entire PF leadership to prove to the nation that UPND expressed interest to form a Government of National Unity. UPND has never and will never seek a government of national unity with a dictatorial regime.
Lungu should show leadership for once and tell the nation where he got this fake information he is using to accuse the opposition of being behind the fires. If it is from the police, then he must fire his police command for incompetence or apologise to the nation.
It is surprising that Lungu jumped to conclusions about the fires and other acts of arson without proper investigations and rushed to declare a threatened state of emergency.
We believe that the declaration of a state of emergency is not in public interest but in PF interest. The State of emergency was schemed by the PF government a long time ago. For example, in April this year Edgar Lungu warned while he was in Livingstone that he would bring a State of emergency if violence and vandalism continued.
When the church mother bodies raised very cardinal issues regarding the current state of the nation and called for dialogue as a way to resolve certain matters, Lungu didn’t just decline the invitation to meet the church leaders, but made derogatory remarks about the church mother bodies and immediately rubbished their well-meaning biblical guidance by saying everything was just fine in the country and that is why he was flying around the world and other Heads of States were visiting Zambia.
Lungu demeaned the clergy by accusing them that tension only existed in their heads and that they were just pleasing their pay masters. This was another clear indication that he was well aware of his plans to take the country into such a situation of state of emergency.
If there is no tension in the country, why has Lungu declared a threatened state of emergency?
We are also wondering why the state is ignoring evidence coming from the scenes of crime.
There is video evidence of testimonies from eye witnesses who revealed that the Lusaka City market was gutted shortly after being opened when the Zambia Police and Lusaka City Council officials went in to clean the premises.
That has been ignored and threats have instead continued being issued away from the tips needed in investigations.
We are also fully aware that it’s not long ago when PF cadres openly revealed that they would be helping the Zambia Police stationed at the market in offering security to the city market and public places in Lusaka and other areas.
Shortly after the market was gutted, even before any investigations were carried out by relevant security wings, PF leadership such as Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo, Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe, PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri and later Vice-President Inonge Wina were all over making insinuations that some people who want to grab power were behind the spate of fires and sabotage in the country.
Attached to this document is what Stephen Kampyongo and Mwakalombe said when they addressed victims at the Market shortly after fire broke out.
Later Lungu also went to the same market and openly said he would take decisions that he would not care about being labelled as a dictator as he would limit civil liberties for people.
How did they know the criminals without investigations?
The next day, Lungu addressed a special cabinet meeting where they resolved to invoke article 31 of the Zambian Constitution which is basically a proclamation of the Threatened State of Emergency.
In his Press Conference, Lungu finally revealed the real reasons why the country was in the current state of affairs ; which is that there was a stalemate resulting from the contentious August 2016 elections. This is the root of the political crisis . The anger we are seeing from the PF and its government as well as the scheme to introduce dictatorship through the state of emergency and the incarceration of HH emanates from the disputed 2016 presidential elections.
From the trend of events and going by what we have read in history, any citizen should have no doubt that the PF leadership is out to wipe out any form of dissent in the country and fully cement what has now been widely quoted by both local and international media and bodies that Zambia under the PF regime has slumped into dictatorship.
The solution lies in resolving issues connected to the 2016 contentious elections.
As at now, we insist on the speedy release of our incarcerated UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and his co-accused plus other political prisoners who are in detention over trumped up charges.
We will continue pursuing all the legal, civilized and peaceful means as a way to achieve meaningful political and economic development of our country.
We also believe that the quickest way to achieving and resolving the current impasse is for the courts of law to urgently dispose of the outstanding cases such as our right to be heard in the High Court over our presidential petition.
We also wish to argue that if the country goes ahead with this proclamation of the Threatened State of emergency, it is no doubt that innocent Zambians will be arrested on mere suspicion just to fulfil the Patriotic Front’s political agenda to remain in power forever at all costs.
I wish to point out that the solution to end existing tension in the country does not lie in using state institutions against those with dissenting views but to engage all political players around the table. There is need for dialogue.
We therefore call upon all patriotic citizens to defend our democracy.
GEOFFREY BWALYA MWAMBA
UPND VICE PRESIDENT.