The ruling PF has accused the UPND of buying PF regalia and sending its cadres to cause violence in PF strongholds.
Addressing a media briefing at the PF secretariat in Lusaka, PF Deputy Spokesman Frank Bwalya said this is one of the tactics that the UPND is using in order to make the PF unpopular.
Mr Bwalya was commenting on yesterday’s violence in Lusaka’s Matero area which saw UPND cadres ransacked PF offices after [police tear gassed a peaceful UPND youth rally.
He said the PF has intelligence reports that the UPND top leadership is behind this scheme of dressing up their cadres in PF uniforms and unleashing them on innocent citizens.
Mr Bwalya said the cadres that descended on PF offices in Matero yesterday were not from the ruling party but that they were sent by the UPND and dressed them in PF uniforms.
And there was confusion at the PF secretariat this morning after a named PF cadre was savagely beaten up after he was accused of belonging to the UPND.
The youth was identified to be a UPND member and accused of having been part of the group that attacked the PF offices in the area.
The victim was only rescued by Mr Bwalya and other senior PF officials moments before the press conference started.
Meanwhile, Mr Bwalya says yesterday’s attack on the PF office was well planned and calculated by people within the UPND who have plans of causing havoc and terror.
“We have heard leaders in UPND, specifically Mr Hakainde Hichilema and those who have chosen to support him such as former Republican Vice President Dr Guy Scott and Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba using words such as Armageddon which don’t promote peace,” Mr Bwalya said.
Below is Mr Bwalya’s full statement released this morning
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PF DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON AT THE PF SECRETARIAT, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA.
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2016.
We have called this press conference to update our members and all patriotic Zambians on two issues. The first issue relates to our unwavering commitment to uphold the outcome of the Peace Indaba that was called by the three church mother bodies at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka on March 29, 2016. The second issue is about the ongoing membership mobilisation in our party as well as important meetings which are part of our 2016 General Election programme.
PF AGAINST POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Many people in Zambia today have heard the leadership of the United Party for National Development (UPND) accusing our party of flouting what political parties that participated in the Peace Indaba agreed upon as outlined in the communique that emanated from the same Indaba at the Anglican Cathedral. Specifically, the UPND has been accusing PF of causing political violence. However, we are happy to note that Zambians are seeing for themselves how UPND has continued with their violent ways.
Allow me to cite two examples of UPND violence that Zambians have witnessed recently. On Friday, April 29, 2016 we held a Youth Mobilisation Rally at Manungu ground in Monze town. Known UPND cadres dressed in their party regalia came to our meeting and attempted to disrupt the rally. As a party committed to ending political violence we restrained ourselves and all our cadres. It is the police who saved the situation. The police arrested two UPND cadres and kept vigil until our meeting ended. A number of our members were threatened with violence.
Yesterday, Sunday, May 8, 2016 UPND cadres descended on our constituency office in Matero, Lusaka after their meeting in the area and maliciously damaged our office leaving it ransacked. This was done on a Sunday which is the day of worship for many Zambians and it was done without any form of provocation. As such, we believe that the attack on our office was well planned and calculated by people within the UPND who have plans of causing havoc and terror in our peaceful country. We have heard leaders in UPND, specifically Mr Hakainde Hichilema and those who have chosen to support him such as former Republican Vice President Dr Guy Scott and Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba using words such as Armageddon which don’t promote peace.
The Communique that came out of the Cathedral Peace Indaba was categorical about the need for us to stop using insulting language against one another. Again the UPND which has been accusing us of not following what we agreed in the Cathedral Peace Indaba Communique are the ones whose leader was quoted by a local tabloid using insulting language against the leader of our party Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Mr Hichilema used provocative and highly defamatory language that I can’t even repeat here.
We know that UPND has a plan to escalate violence ahead of the forthcoming general election while accusing PF of instigating violence. As a matter of fact, the allegation that our party will rig the forthcoming elections is part of the plan to incite violence after voting.
Therefore, we wish to urge the Zambia Police Service and other law enforcement agencies to do more to stop the UPND from making our peaceful country ungovernable. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The writings are on the wall.
On our part we wish to reiterate our unquestionable commitment to upholding what we agreed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Peace Indaba as contained in the Communiqué. Moreover, we are fully committed and determined to run an issue based election campaign devoid of violence. Therefore, we urge our members to do everything possible to promote peace during the election campaign period and beyond.
We are warning our members against retaliation when we are attacked. Our members should instead report to the police. We are also advising our members to avoid violence even under extreme provocation.
We wish to inform our members and all patriotic Zambians that we shall hold a rally in Kitwe at the Freedom Park to endorse our party leader Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as PF presidential candidate in the 2016 presidential election. The meeting will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016 starting at 14 hours. Senior members of our party including our Secretary General Mr Davis Chama, Hon Dr Chishimba Kambwili, Hon Jean Kapata will be among those who shall address the meeting.
On Sunday, May 15, 2016 we shall have a rally in Lusaka at Kalundu Basic School in Chilanga constituency starting at 14 hours. The rally will be addressed by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and other senior members of our party.
And on Saturday, May 21, 2016 we shall officially launch our 2016 Election Campaign at a mega rally at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka. The mega rally will start at 10:00 hours. It will be addressed by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and other PF senior members. At the same mega rally, we shall launch our 2016-2021 Party Manifesto and unveil campaign material.
We wish to reiterate our call for a peaceful and issue-based election campaign. We should not allow the competition to serve break our peaceful country.
Finally, we urge our members to pray for the success of the outlined activities and make plans to attend them.