HAKAINDE Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s continued provocation of President Edgar Lungu is deliberately meant to undermine the President and the governance of the country, Harry Kalaba has charged.
Mr Kalaba, who is Foreign Affairs minister, said Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba had been provoking President Lungu by daring the police in a scheme to undermine the Head of State which he said was beneath people aspiring for leadership.
Mr Kalaba said Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba’s electoral defeat in the last general elections was not the worst of their personal failures but that their greatest failure would have been for them to fail to participate in the general elections.
He said the greatest test of courage was to bear defeat without losing heart, stating that the most beautiful people the world had known and appreciated were those who had known and experienced defeat, suffering, struggle and loss but emerged from such situations.
He advised Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba to move on and plan for the future instead of deliberately breaking the country’s laws because such a strategy was not going to make them popular enough to guarantee them victory in the 2021 general elections.
Mr Kalaba said Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba could have done better to go round the country thanking the more than 1.7 million people who voted for the UPND in the last general elections and seek means of doing better in the next general elections.
“The conduct of Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba has fallen short of what is expected of people aspiring to be leaders. Their continued provocation of an inaugurated President and their deliberate actions to undermine the leadership of President Lungu through schemes such as provoking or daring the police is beneath the character of people aspiring for leadership,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba said Zambians were a people who never tolerated or loved violence neither were they people who embraced leaders who sought to divide them. “Moving from court to police cells and back to court cannot possibly be the magic formula for Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba’s victory in the 2021 general elections,” Mr Kalaba said.
He stated that last week, Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba were arrested for seditious practices and unlawful assembly and that the detention of the duo sparked violence in some parts of the country which saw more than 60 people getting arrested for throwing stones at the police.
Mr Kalaba said it was unfortunate that some international media organisations focused on the purported police brutality and found cause to portray Zambia as a repressive country devoid of peace.