The Young African Leaders Initiative says the gassing of homes Zambians have endured in the last two months which started in Chingola on the Copperbelt Province is a well calculated act of terror meant to instill fear and cause panic in the communities.
YALI President Andrew Ntewewe has commended President Edgar Lungu for directing the Zambia Army to re-enforce the work of the Zambia Police Service aimed at bringing the sponsors to book.
Mr Ntewewe has urged the Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure that in their investigations they do not overlook political motivation behind the acts of terrorism which may be meant to justify calls for early elections by portraying a picture that the Patriotic Front regime has failed.
He was speaking at a media briefing where he also urged Zambians to desist from killing suspects saying doing so is helping the culprits to escape justice.
Below is the Full Speech
MEDIA BRIEFING BY THE YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS INITIATIVE (YALI) ON INCIDENCES OF CHEMICAL GASSING AROUND THE COUNTRY DELIVERED BY YALI PRESIDENT, ANDREW NTEWEWE AT MIKA LODGE.
Over the last two months, our fellow countrymen, women, children and families have been subjected to some indescribable fear as a result of malicious administration of poison with intent to harm to our people. The fear which our communities have been subjected to, as a result of gassing, has resulted into riotous behaviour among residents, in some cases arrests of suspects who, in a good number of cases, been beaten to death by mobs of citizens.
Although the media and a number of other stakeholders have described these incidences as chemical gassing, ritual killing, and so forth and so on, our discernment convinces us, and many other citizens, that these criminal acts are well-calculated to cause terror, instil fear and induce panic in our families and communities. What is happening, colleagues, is sponsored terrorism. Sponsors and perpetrators of these monstrous crimes are terrorists and must be treated as such.
We therefore call upon our Law Enforcement Agencies and security wings, under the guidance and command of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia who is also the Commander in Chief of Armed Forces to round up both sponsors and agents of these terrorist acts and bring to book. They must be smoked out from wherever they are and subjected to wrath of law, once and for all.
We therefore join good citizens of Zambia in commending President Lungu for directing the Army to reinforce the work of the Zambia Police Service aimed at bringing sponsors and perpetrators to book. We ask law abiding and peace loving Zambians to cooperate with the Police and Government to identify and cage these terrorists and their sponsors.
Critical to ongoing investigations by law enforcement agencies, we urge men and women in uniform not to overlook the political motivation behind these acts of terrorism. The intention and motive behind these acts of terrorism would not be without any background. Terrorism – whether it happens in New York or George Compound – always has a discernible intention. It does not happen in a vacuum. It does not happen by coincidence.
Like us, many of our fellow Zambians are getting convinced these acts of sponsored terrorism are meant to justify calls for early elections by portraying that the country has become ungovernable and that the current leaders have failed. To determine which people are behind these acts of terrorism, Zambians must only ask on who would benefit from a situation where our Country is portrayed as having become ungovernable.
First and foremost, all Zambians must never forget that after 2016 elections, there has been a deliberate refusal by a clique of politicians, a group of hoodlums and a bunch of anarchists and their followers to recognise the legitimacy of the President. In so many ways, they are doing every act, including sponsoring some foreign prophets who have endorsed them but also speak against our country, as a way of proving that this Government is not legitimate, and cannot be trusted.
The question is, what benefit do these anarchists get when they engage in acts of terror? The sponsors of the ongoing terrorism – in which homes, villages, institutions of learning are being gassed – have an ultimate goal and gains. Their ultimate goal is to make a picture in the mind of Zambians and the outside that Zambia has become ungovernable.
At this point, we appeal to Zambians to wake up and realise that the real intention of those who are sponsoring chemical gassing in your homes is to raise discontent or excite disaffection among the people of Zambia but also bring Government into hatred or contempt. We ask Zambians not to be surprised when those who have sponsored the chemical gassing of your homes are back telling you that “chemical gassing is sponsored by the State” or blaming the State and law enforcement agencies for the riots.
That is their real intention.
As early as 2017, some opposition leaders have been calling for early elections. The question is, why people would someone be calling for early elections when the atmosphere in the country has always been peaceful until when those who want early elections sponsored chemical gassing? The answer lies in the history of what happened around 1990 to 1991 when the country had become ungovernable and there was no option but for Dr Kaunda to cut his term short.
This is exactly what the people sponsoring chemical gassing are trying to achieve. Since they have failed to justify the call for early elections, they now want to create discontent and discomfort among our people, make the people rise against their own Government. They want people to believe the current leadership, the police and other security wings has failed to protect them and begin to look for an alternative.
The sponsors of these terror attacks want to project themselves as an alternative leadership. They want Zambians to begin championing calls for change. They will promise you that they will end the chemical gassing of homes and institutions if you vote for them. The question is how? They are saying so because they themselves are the ones who have sponsored those gassing your homes. They know the people they have sponsored to gas you.
For us – and we know for many of you Zambians – you must begin to worry why people who, one day, seek to govern this beautiful country can are now stoop so low to make your lives difficult and yet make seditious claims intended to incite resistance and disobedience to the laws of this country or the current administration. But the effects of their intention can now be seen by anybody. Some members of the public are now disobeying the law by killing suspects or rioting. This is because sponsors of the chemical gassing have managed to convince a few of our citizens that the law must be disobeyed or that communities must resist this administration.
These sponsors of chemical gassing, which amounts to terrorism, have been peddling a narrative that the country is ungovernable, an idea that there is no law and order. They have championed this idea at the international plane and on our own local scene.
What saddens us is that despite all the failed attempts to paint this country black, they have now reached a point where they want to cause turbulence and terror to justify their bogus narrative.
We therefore call upon law enforcement agencies to discern the seditious intent of some of the public statements being made by some of our politicians whose intent is to incite public disobedience, resistance, discomfort and discontent among our people. Our country is under attack, families are living in fear, those who have sponsored these acts of terrorism all in the quest of becoming popular, at the expense of sending fear and induce panic into our people ahead of 2021, are becoming danger to this country. They must be brought to book.
By now it should be clear to the people of Zambia that beneficiaries of the ongoing chemical gassing are those who want to justify their claims that the country is ungovernable, that there is breakdown in the rule of law, and that only them can end the terrorism, maybe rightly so because they are sponsors of the same terrorist acts.
We want to conclude by making an earnest appeal to all Zambians. We not savages. We are a beacon of peace on the African Continent. By killing suspects, you are simply helping those who have sponsored persons gassing your homes to run away from being caught. These people who have sponsored gassing of your homes wants you to riot. By engaging in riots, you are encouraging them to gas you even more. We appeal to pupils, students, children, mothers, marketeers, out there to stand up and peacefully defend your country and your Government. Show sponsors of those gassing you that you are not cowards but will stand for peace against these terrorists. We remind those who have been recruited to gas people’s homes and cause terror that the very people who are sponsoring you today have earmarked you for elimination by killing. That is how terrorists operate. They don’t want to leave any trail or footprints along the way. Their aim is to justify their call for early elections and a narrative they have been peddling that there is no law and order.