Lusaka ~ Sat, 21 August, 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
The opposition Patriotic Front (PF) has lamented over the continued attacks on its party members by alleged ruling United Party for National Development (UPND).
PF Media Director Antonio Mwanza said in a statement issued to the media today that the increase in the spate of attacks on the opposition members is unacceptable.
However, Mr Mwanza welcomed President Hakainde Hichilema’s call for communities to return to normalcy and avoid vengeful or retributive acts.
“We have noted with deep concern and sadness, reports indicating the continued harassment and beating of Patriotic Front members in communities, trading spaces and even some work places by UPND cadres and sympathisers,” he said.
“It is unacceptable that over a week after elections were conducted and winner declared, spates of attacks on our members have continued and, actually increased. We welcome the statement made by the President-Elect, His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema for communities to return to normalcy and avoid vengeful or retributive acts.”
Mr Mwanza also applauded UPND National Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa for cautioning ruling party members to desist from harassing PF members and to stop the destruction of their property.
He said PF members are living in fear and many have gone in hiding.
“Our offices dotted across the country are being vandalized or taken over by the UPND, despite the lease and occupational business arrangements that exist between ourselves and property owners,” he said.
“We need to affirm that Zambia is a growing democracy and observes peaceful hand-over of power between the winner and loser. It is therefore unacceptable that Democracy should be defiled by these acts of violence, intimidation and destruction of property simply because the PF lost the August 12th General Election.”
Meanwhile, Mr Mwanza called on the Police to tighten security measures to ensure that lives of PF members and supporters are safeguarded and, property protected.
He mentioned that it is important that the Police arrest the situation, so as to allow citizens to live freely and in peace without intimidation or fear for their lives.
The party Media Director said every Zambian has a constitutional right to belong to any political party of their choice and the UPND should not be allowed to violate this fundamental and inalienable right of every Zambian citizen.
“Further, Zambia has a functional judicial system and all matters to deal with investigations and prosecutions are a preserve of competent and constitutional wings of Government hence it is wrong and illegal for any UPND cadre to try to usurp the powers of the relevant institutions of Government by taking the law into their own hands,” he said.
“We advise the UPND to get down to work and focus on delivering on the many promises they made to the Zambian people instead of wasting their time on witch hunt, violence and intimidation.”