The ruling PF has accused the opposition UPND of having sponsored the riots in Kanyama that erupted Friday morning.
In a statement, PF Media Director Sunday Chanda said that the slogan-chanting UPND cadres burnt tyres as they fought running battles with the Police under what they had disguised as a protest by “traders” from Kanyama who were moved to another site following the Cholera breakout.
Mr Chanda said that today’s protests were politically engineered by UPND in their quest to politicize the Cholera outbreak and that PF had warned about this 48 hours ago, and UPND went on to deny it.
Below is the full statement
THE POLITICIZATION OF CHOLERA WE WARNED ABOUT CONFIRMED
Lusaka, Zambia, 12th January 2018 – The statement circulating on social media attributed to the PF Department and apportioning blame on street vendors is fake and must be ignored with the highest levels of contempt it deserves.
Today, slogan-chanting UPND cadres burnt tyres as they fought running battles with the Police under what they had disguised as a protest by “traders” from Kanyama who were moved to another site following the Cholera breakout.
Today’s protests were politically engineered by UPND in their quest to politicize the Cholera outbreak. We had warned about this 48 hours ago and UPND went on to deny it. Today, UPND cadres chanting their Party slogans took to the streets in Kanyama, burnt tyres and threatened public peace.
We find such politics to be obnoxious and against the acceptable standards of decency acceptable in politics. We wonder what UPND seeks to gain if they disrupt ongoing Cholera interventions.
We have said before and saying it again that UPND’s desperation because it is threatening the national security and unity of our Country.
In 2017, Zambians witnessed the burning down of Courts and markets as well as acts of sabotage targeting Zesco power lines with a clear view to make Zambia ungovernable and UPND was implicated.
Zambia does not need a political party that is ready to place lives of innocent supporters in harm’s way just to make a statement. We have seen innocent lives lost such as the late Mapenzi Chibulo who was short during UPND protests.
We do not want to imagine what would have happened in Kanyama today had the Zambia Police reacted with maximum force. Lives could have been lost all because of a political party seeking to prove political relevance.
In this regard, we wish to commend the Zambia Police for exhibiting maximum restraint in Kanyama after the politically staged-managed protests.
Lastly, we call on Zambians to condemn UPND’s politicization of the Cholera outbreak. This is immoral and amounts to a party attempting to indirectly celebrate a misfortune.
Cholera is a matter of public health and we call on the rest of society, traders and street vendors inclusive, to cooperate with the necessary measures government has taken so far in protecting lives.
Media Director – PF