PRESS STATEMENT DELIVERED BY PATRIOTIC FRONT DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL MRS MUMBI PHIRI
The Patriotic Front would like to take this opportunity to condemn those claiming that His Excellency President Edgar Lungu is persecuting Hakainde Hichilema by the on-going prosecution. Unfortunately, these are the lies and cheap propaganda coming from the UPND camp and their sponsors.
We would also like to state that there have been efforts by UPND, their lawyers and their friends outside Zambia to give a political face to a criminal matter which is before the Courts of law. This is hypocrisy of the waste order and we ask all right-thinking members of the public, in Zambia and beyond, to reject this narrative. UPND leader is a criminal suspect and he is being prosecuted according to the criminal laws of Zambia. We ask the local and international media to allow the Court system to function without undue pressure because that is in the best interest of fairness and natural justice. As a citizen of Zambia, Hichilema is entitled to a fair trial and that is what all of us should insist on.
Let me also take this opportunity to remind South Africa’s NAZI Party, the Democratic Alliance that Zambia fought against apartheid while they were benefitting from it
We would like to set the record straight by stating as follows:
1. The delays in Court have nothing to do with the Patriotic Front or indeed His Excellency President Lungu. The delays have been caused entirely by Hichilema’s lawyers who are addicted to raising preliminary issues over straight forward matters. Zambians remember that UPND’s election petition was killed by the same lawyers who failed to understand that 14 days meant 14 days. This is a UPND lawyer’s disease and not anybody else’s.
2. The adjournments were caused by Hichilema’s Lawyers. The Hichilema lawyers know very well that after making a preliminary application, the magistrate or Judge should recess to research and rule in the matter.
3. Like it was in the election petition, we wish to advice Hichilema to get more focused lawyers who will not be interested in playing long-ball. Everyone knows that it is for the good of the lawyer’s bank account when a case drags. But it becomes wrong when this is done by Hichilema’s legal team but they turn around to blame the PF Government. The last time we checked, President Lungu, who is an eminent lawyer, and has in the past successfully represented the likes of collapsed Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe and the families of the Gabon Air Disaster, is not representing Hichilema in this matter.
4. We want to place on record that the Patriotic Government is NOT holding Hichilema. The Patriotic Front Government did not arrest Hichilema. This is a matter between Hichilema and the State.
Let me also take this opportunity to remind South Africa’s NAZI Party, the Democratic Alliance that Zambia fought against apartheid while they were benefitting from it. They have no morality to comment on any governance issue anywhere in the world. It is also sad that a black South African has sold out and now being paraded as the face of a former apartheid party. This is the boy who wants to use Zambia as his play ground. This is a clear warning that he must not dare Zambians. We do not have room for sell-outs like him and his Party. Like any other Citizen of the World, he can visit Zambia but if he breaks the law, like he did when he made those remarks which border on Contempt of Court, he will book himself a bed in one of our prison cells. Zambia is a country of laws and not of men. Our legal system is not a respecter of persons at all.
Further, we received, with shock a statement by the Opposition leader’s wife that Patriotic Front cadres dressed in Police Uniforms are the ones who went to arrest her husband. She lied and she knows it.
She further went on to allege that her life was under threat as she was being followed. She lied and she knows it. If this were to be true, why has she not reported to the Police? Such alarming statements are not helping her or the husband’s. Of course, these are lies meant for the consumption of the international media who UPND have found to be so gullible as to digest all the trash they offload on them without checking facts on the ground.
On this score, let me advise my sister and fellow woman Mrs Mutinta Hichilema to stop spreading lies about her husband’s arrest especially when she sees international media. This is not what responsible spouses do. Of course, society expects her to stand with her husband but she must not do so to the extent of telling outright lies. She must be the last person to be running from one Media house to another, because in her state she will create a mistake which will be put the final nail in her husband’s political career. As a fellow woman and Sister, I sympathize with her because in Bemba we say “Uulelosha Tabamucheba Kukanwa”, meaning that you do not take seriously the words said by someone who is in mourning.
I remember when I was appearing in Court for a traffic offence. My spouse played a pivotal role in supporting me through it all but not a single day did he go to the media and start creating false impressions. That is what responsible spouses do.
Lastly, we are asking Zambians from all walks of life to ensure we promote unity and peace in the nation. Let us all respect the laws we have made for ourselves. We ask Zambians to continue supporting President Lungu and his administration in ensuring that we develop our Country. We have no time to waste on politicking. We have development to take to all the ten Provinces of Zambia.
May God Bless Zambia.