UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has charged that Zambia’s democracy is heavily under threat by those claiming to be in charge.
Reacting to the move by police to block his party from holding a news conference at Chainama Hotel in Lusaka, Mr Hichilema said action is a big assault on the country’s democracy.
“As you may be aware, this morning we were supposed to hold a Press Briefing with other Political Leaders at the Chainama Hotel. Instead, we could not hold a Media briefing from Chainama Hotel, as heavily armed state police sealed off the venue and threatened to shoot us on grounds that we did not have a permit to do so,” Mr Hichilema stated.
He added, “Now, this is a big assault on our country’s democracy, and we are wondering how the State Police would start asking for permits from us in order for us to hold a Press briefing.”
“Edgar Lungu and the PF must know that Zambians have the right to freedom of association, assembly and expression and there is no question about it. We however, want to caution Mr Lungu who is abusing the Police to draw a boundary and have limits,” he said.
“As the saying goes, you can fool people for some time but you cannot fool the people all the time and therefore he should not push us any further.”
Mr Hichilema said such conducts by State police under instructions from Mr Lungu are the ones that have led to some countries going into flames but that Zambia is not ready for such.
“We have always called for peace and our appeal is to the international community to once again help tame Mr Lungu before he plunges our country into chaos is the case with the current economic malaise,” he said.
“May we also thank our colleagues and fellow Leaders; Dr Nevers Mumba, Mike Mulongoti, Charles Milupi for later joining us at our secretariat at which we addressed the Media,” he said.
And Mr Hichilema has called on the nation to remain strong and ready for any eventualities such as high levels of poverty and dictatorship.
He also said Zambia must not pull out of the International Criminal Court adding that as a country, Zambia needs the ICC so dearly to get those abrogating the law redefined into good citizens.
“Zambia deserves better but what is currently obtaining is contrary and we cannot allow this anymore,” he said.