UPND Presidential running-mate Geoffrey Mwamba says the decision to revoke the flying permit for the helicopter campaign is purely political and a violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The opposition leaders accused Republican President Edgar Lungu of being behind the revocation of the flying permit because he has no message for the people.
He claimed that the PF President has realised that his Party has dismantled the PF’s strongholds and that PF has nothing to offer as President Lungu seeks a fresh mandate hence the interference with the flight permit.
“The decision by Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s government to revoke the flying permit of
our official helicopter campaign is purely political discrimination and violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
“This is because President Lungu is aware that we have dismantled the PF in all corners of their strongholds and so he is scared of losing the coming elections.
“Secondly the PF government has nothing to offer even as President Lungu seeks a fresh mandate because they have failed to govern, hence the use of unconventional and uncivilised methods to slow our campaigns,” read the statement in part.
He demanded for a the playing field be levelled as this a critical stage of campaigns and that it is not the fault of the UPND that President Lungu and his running-mate are failing to attract crowds as they try to market their party.
“If Edgar and his running-mate Inonge Wina are failing to pull crowds and market their party which has brought poverty and hunger among the people of Zambia,that cannot be the fault of UPND that he should now turn to unconventional methods to derail our campaigns,” he said.
He also said that his Party is aware of the maneuvers by the PF to silence alternative voice something he said will not happen saying people cannot be silenced.
“We are aware of all his schemes to silence the alternative voice ;
– He has revoked my flying permit
– Made my President HH and I as a campaign message and part of PF manifesto discussed during rallies
– Closed the Post Newspapers down
but the truth remains that he cannot silence the will of the people,” he said.
He vowed to continue his campaigns using whatever means possible.
“Leka Nkwebe our campaigns will continue by any means possible whether by road,by water even by air or on foot, we shall reach every corner of our beloved country,” he said.
He also bemoaned the lack of adherence to the electoral code of conduct by the ruling party.
“The Electoral Code of Conduct provides a code on how people should conduct themselves during campaigns, therefore revocation of our flying permit and grounding the helicopter is a total disregard of the electoral Code of Conduct which President Lungu as a lawyer understands.
“This act is also an assault on fundamental principles of a free and fair election and also hinges on Human Rights and good governance.
“This violation can actually go to the International Court of Justice and President Lungu can be subjected to the international tribunal,” Mr Mwamba noted.
He has since given the ECZ 48hrs to intervene in the matter or risk being taken to Court.
“However we shall start by appealing to the Electoral Commission of Zambia to intervene in this matter within 48hrs failure to which we shall take a legal route.
“I’ve used the said helicopter specifically for campaigns and according to the flying permit granted, the campaign schedule has been shared and everything has been within the law, to revoke it, is like a personal attack on me,” he said.