The opposition FDD has called for the arrest of PF Secretary General Davis Mwila for instructing PF cadres to forcibly take over of markets and bus stations as it borders on sedition and inciting lawlessness.
Party Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said it is unbelievable that a Secretary General of the Ruling Party and a former Lawmaker can be issuing such criminal instructions inciting civil disorder against lawful authority.
“The statement made by PF Secretary General, Davies Mwila, instructing PF cadres to forcibly take over the running of markets and bus stations is a criminal statement that borders on sedition and inciting lawlessness; subversion of authority and is a recipe for anarchy, public nuisance and a serious threat to the peace and stability of our country.
“Sections 57, 92 and 101 of Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia clearly states that any person who utters any seditious words (Sedition, being the organised incitement of civil disorder against authority, herein being the Local Authority, which is the Authority mandated by the Republican Constitution to manage and run markets and bus stations) is guilty and liable to imprisonment for two years or to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units or both. Any person who excites disaffection against or undermines lawful authority is liable for criminal prosecution. Inciting lawlessness is a criminal offence that attracts a jail sentence,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said Mr Mwila should understand that markets, bus stations and taxi ranks are public places and that citizens are entitled to trade or do business within these premises regardless of one’s political affiliation.
He noted that the PF SG has confirmed what people already know that some PF cadres and PF officials have forcibly taken over the running of markets and bus stations.
“First of all Davies Mwila must understand that markets, bus stations and taxi ranks are public places and every citizen has the right to trade or do business within these premises regardless of one’s political affiliation. Markets, bus stations and taxi ranks are not a property of PF they are public property therefore it is illegal and totally unacceptable for anyone to try to force members of the Opposition out of these places.
“Mr Mwila has confirmed what we all already know that some PF cadres and PF officials have forcibly taken over the running of markets and bus stations from the Lusaka City Council here in Lusaka and that these cadres and officials are actually extorting money from struggling marketeers and bus drivers operating in our markets. We have written to the Ministry of Local Government, complaining about this criminal behaviour but nothing has been done because this is part of the PF machinery and PF strategy: the use of thuggery and vigilantism to intimidate and control the masses. This is part of the PF strategy to enrich a few PF cadres and officials through illegal collection of money from markets and bus stations as well as the illegal and allocation of land,” he said.
He further said local authorities are failing to perform their constitutional duties of providing goods and servicee due to the resources which should be used are being shared by cadres.
“Today our local authorities are failing to perform their constitutional duties of providing goods and services such as clean water, sanitation, proper drainages, garbage collection, social amenities and so on because the taxes and levies that they rely upon to provide these goods and social services is actually being collected and shared by cadres and their officials.
“We challenge the Zambia Police to arrest Mr Davies Mwila for inciting lawlessness and civil disorder in our country. The police have in their possession the audio and video evidence of what Mr Mwila said and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to be dragging their feet. This thuggish behaviour must be punished as it is criminal and a recipe for civil disorder,” he said.
Meanwhile,the UPND has described as immoral the actions of Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila to openly command their ‘thugs’ to take charge of the markets and bus stops in the country as irresponsible and immoral.
In a statement UPND Secretary General Steven Katuka stated that the move was not only irresponsible and immoral, but it’s also recipe for anarchy which has been the source of violence in the country.
“……none PF members who are equally Zambian citizens are openly physically harassed, including being stripped naked for being suspected of belonging to an opposition,” Katuka said.
“It is a national monumental tragedy of corruption of the worst kind for Davies Mwila to instruct PF controlled councils to deceive and defraud the public by advertising availability of plots but in actual fact reserve such plots for PF cadres.”
He said that UPND where of the view that public places such as markets, bus stops and bus stations, and other trading areas must not be politicised as they are public properties belonging to the Zambian people who have delegated local authorities to manage them in trust.
Katuka added that even the levying of citizens by cadres in public places amounts to daylight robbery of public resources.