The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has challenged opposition UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema to condemn the attack on PF members in Monze Friday by suspected UPND cadres.
In a statement made available to media yesterday, Mr. Chanda says Mr. Hichilema knows too well that PF officials were arrested on the Copperbelt Province after his meetings were allegedly disrupted and the Head of State made clear and firm directives in that instance.
WE ARE CALLING ON UPND LEADER HAKAINDE HICHILEMA TO CONDEMN HIS CADRES ATTACKS AGAINST PF MOBILIZATION MEETING IN MONZE – SUNDAY CHANDA, VICE CHAIRPERSON, PF MEDIA AND PUBLICITY COMMITTEE
Lusaka, Zambia, 1STAugust 2015 – The Patriotic Front (PF) is concerned at United Party for National Development (UPND) and its leader Hakainde Hichilema’s play-victim attitude, that even after His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has shown dedicated political will to bring to book members of his own party to account for being accused of perpetrating violence against those with dissenting views. Mr. Hichilema knows too well that PF officials were arrested on the Copperbelt Province after his meetings were allegedly disrupted and the Head of State made clear and firm directives in that instance.
Mr. Hichilema knows that while he has been in Kasama, Northern Province, his UPND Cadres in Monze violently attacked a PF mobilization meeting which was scheduled to take place at Monze Golf Club. About 500 people among them former UPND provincial youth Secretary Twaambo Ndhlovu were defecting to the PF. Mr. Hichilema knows that before the defectors were formally received, about 150 suspected UPND cadres wielding an array of weapons including knives and pistols stormed the meeting and started attacking the people that had gathered for the PF meeting. Some of the attackers threatened to harm PF national mobilisation chairman Paul Moonga. The aggressors threw stones at the crowd seriously injuring two people who were rushed to Monze District Hospital.
While Mr. Hichilema is being welcomed peacefully in other parts of the country, including Kasama, we demand that he extends that goodwill in areas where his cadres enforce UPND’s Mapatizya formula. While in Kasama, Mr. Hichilema is reported to have said he felt at home as though he was in Monze. Once again we ask which Monze he referred to because the latest attack from his cadres in Monze does not fit into the hospitality he was given in Kasama. We are therefore demanding a clear condemnation of the violent attacks by Mr. Hichilema if indeed he is opposed to violence. Zambia has no space for political tendencies to play victim all the time.
We are also concerned that Police officers stood by and watched helplessly as some PF members begged them to stop the attackers. While it is not our intention to bring the Police into such matters, it is only prudent that the Zambia Police authorities investigate to establish the reported attitude from identified police officers.
Lastly, it is important for political parties to demand that citizens co-exist, irrespective of political or any other affiliation. The assorted political space Zambia has can only bring about the benefits of democracy if all leaders, without exception, condemn violence and celebrate the diversity.
Issued By: Sunday Chanda, Vice Chairperson, PF Media and Publicity Committee