Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has said that the careless statements from Republican President contributed to the eruption of xenophobic attacks in Lusaka.
Mr Hichilema said President Lungu’s statement made in Eastern Province blaming the opposition leaders for the ritual murders and later adding that some foreign nationals had been arrested for the murders ignited the attacks in Lusaka.
He said the statements that have continued to come from the head of state are an indictment of his poor leadership as a normal leader can not say the things that he says.
“President Lungu triggered the xenophobic attacks that we have seen in Lusaka the last three days. He went to Chipata and accused some opposition leaders of being behind the ritual killings because they wanted to get into office. Who in their right sense can do that? Kill the same people they want to serve? We can’t do that, that is a careless statement coming from the head of state. Secondly he said the police had arrested some foreign nationals in connection with the killings that created some anxiety in the compounds were people are living in poverty and hunger.
“It was irresponsible for the President to make such statements and that is what poor leadership does, it makes irresponsible statements without thinking of the consequences. This is the first time that this kind of thing has happened in our country which is a Christian nation. We have always taken care of neighbours since independence but now this government under the leadership of Lungu who makes statements like he is coming from a beer hall of chibuku we have xenophobic attacks on innocent people,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said the head of state had endangered the lives of Zambians living abroad.
On the printing of ballot papers in Dubai, Mr Hichilema said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was conniving with the PF government so as to rig the elections.
He said the ECZ and PF had been caught with pants down as their schemes and methods of rigging the elections has been revealed.
Mr Hichilema said there was no justifiable reason for the adamancy exhibited by ECZ as stakeholders have refused to have ballot papers printed in Dubai because its reason for not using the same company from South Africa that printed for January, 2015 election, did not hold any waters.
The opposition leader who had the correspondence between ECZ and the South African print company said the company had met all the requirements and was cheaper than the company picked by ECZ.
He accused ECZ director of elections of trying to help the PF to steal the elections by making sure that there are intentional mistakes on ballot papers they consider strong holds for the UPND to prevent people from voting and that they will try to make sure that ballot papers for Lusaka Province are released late to cause confusion.
He also condemned speaker of the National Assembly for throwing out the motion by some MPs on the issue of printing ballot papers in Dubai.
Mr Hichilema said this when he received defectors from different political parties including PF and MMD councillors from Chongwe and Luwangwa constituencies.