Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Chama says President Elect Edgar Lungu will not meet opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema for peace talks.
Yesterday, Mr Hichilema asked the Church and the international community to organise a meeting with Mr Lungu where the two could meet and resolve pertinent issues.
But Mr Chama told Journalists in Lusaka that Mr Hichilema’s call for peace is not genuine and its only meant for window dressing.
He said the real reason for Mr Hichilema’s call for peace was to project himself as a man who wants peace.
“Following the call by the leader of the opposition United Party for National Development Hakainde Hichilema to meet President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to achieve what he calls “Saving Lives” we wish to state that President Lungu will not meet Mr Hichilema until he abandons his violent ways and chooses to walk the path of peace,” Mr Chama said.
He added, “I spoke with President Lungu this morning and I agree with him that stopping the UPND sponsored violence against our members and innocent Zambians who have settled in Southern Province on suspicion that they voted for the PF does not require a window dressing meeting between Mr Hichilema and President Lungu.”
Mr Chama has since made a passionate appeal to Mr Hichilema to have a meeting with his members and stop the post-election violence especially in UPND strongholds such as Southern Province.
He urged Mr Hichilema to command his members to lay down their weapons.
“We also demand that UPND members stop burning down houses and business premises of our members and Zambians that have settled in the UPND strongholds. We want peace,” he said.
“He thinks by calling for peace, the international community will view him as a man who wants to dialogue over the post-election violence that has been reported in his stronghold. So Mr Hichilema is not sincere in his call to meet President Lungu.”
Mr Chama said Mr Hichilema should not think that Zambians have forgotten about his call for Armageddon.
“We wish to reiterate that President Lungu will consider meeting Mr Hichilema if he stops his violent ways and chooses to walk the path of peace.”
“It is necessary to remind our people what we have said in the past that the UPND has been planning for chaos after the August 11 2016 as part of a well calculated scheme to negotiate for a government of national unity. We think that even this part by Mt Hichilema to meet President Lungu is part of the attempt to start pushing for the same. Mr Hichilema should know that there shall be no government of national unity in Zambia. Our people spoke clearly on August 11th. President Lungu won the election and we are just waiting for the Constitutional Court to rule on the petition filed by the UPND,” Mr Chama said.
The PF Secretary General has since warned Mr Hichilema and the UPND to stop inciting the public saying the law shall catch up with them.
“We are aware of their plans to extend the violence beyond their strongholds including burning markets along the lines of rail. They will not succeed.”
Meanwhile UPND has released the following statement to the media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE NEWS EDITOR
Attempts by the PF to paint UPND as a violent party to try and discredit their opposition are dishonest.
It is a great shame that Lungu remains unwilling to meet with us to discuss securing peace and unity in our nation, just as he refused to meet in the run up to elections as violence increased. In fact, we are still awaiting a response from the letter we sent to him on June 4th requesting a meeting.
We have made this same request on numerous occasions knowing that dialogue rather than violence is the way to proceed, and that the leaders of our respective parties must lead by example in such matters. At the same time, we have written to our members and officials to put in writing what we have so often said publicly, that we detest violence and that there is no place for such behaviour in our party.
Yet, while our calls for a meeting go unanswered our supporters are beaten for wearing UPND regalia, chased from the markets and driven from the taxi ranks so that they can do longer work and support their families. Is this the Zambia we want for our children? Is this the mark of a Christian nation? When we call for peace these are the people we are speaking for.
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.’ Galatians 5:22
Issued by UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma