United Party for National Development(UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has said that his party has been a victim of state-sponsored violence by the ruling Patriotic Front cadres.
Reacting to President Lungu’s assertions political violence in the country can only end when Mr Hichilema and his party commit to the process, Mr Hichilema said that his party has had it’s youths murdered in cold blood by known PF cadres who still freely roam the streets, terrorising innocent citizens without any intervention from the law enforcement because the PF who are supposed to be the custodians of law and order are the prime beneficiaries of the gravitation of the chaos and crime.
Below is the full statement
We are greatly appalled by Mr Edgar Lungu’s escalated buck-passing on matters regarding the rule of law and public order of this nation. This is a clear vindication of our long held view that governance of this country under the PF has completely collapsed and in need of a total overhaul in 2021.
The back and forth flawed interpretation of the constitution that has led the nation and now his own Cabinet ministers into a debt crisis underscores this tragic failure by Mr Lungu to run the public affairs of the State.
To point at Hakainde and the UPND as the instigators of political and community violence when Mr Lungu controls governance institutions is not only a sick joke but a glaring admission of lack of leadership and a ready confirmation of the existence of a power vacuum that ultimately threatens peace and stability in the country. There’s no party that has been subjected to systematic State sponsored violence than the UPND, its leaders and supporters since the PF came to power. These matters are in the public domain and very well documented.
Our party has had it’s youths murdered in cold blood by known PF thugs who still freely roam the streets, terrorising innocent citizens without any intervention from the law enforcement because the PF who are supposed to be the custodians of law and order are the prime beneficiaries of the gravitation of the chaos and crime. Grazia Mutapa, Lawrence Banda, Mapenzi Chibulo, Vespers Shimuzila have all died at the hands of PF instigated violence. Known PF hired thugs attacked and brutalized mourners at Leopards Hill Memorial Park during the burial of a UPND supporter Clance Zulu and no one has been arrested to date.
At a personal level, we have been the target of well calculated incidents of political violence that have sometimes threatened our lives. In the Sesheke parliamentary by-election campaigns, live fire was discharged at our rally, while gallant Police officers who courageously restored order, by apprehending the PF thugs, were promptly retired in the so called national interest.
When conducting a Sun FM live radio interview on the Copperbelt in April 2014, heavily armed PF thugs discharged live fire as they raided the studio. By God’s Grace, we escaped through an opening in the roof.
PF cadres backed by senior District civil servants have carried out sustained terror attacks on various Community Radio stations around the country that have featured our interviews.
Armed PF cadres early this year raided Lusaka Central Police station, the biggest law enforcement facility in the country and assaulted and robbed officers on duty. Only recently in Muchinga Province during by-election campaigns, armed PF cadres mounted illegal roadblocks on public roads and hurled projectiles as we drove by; none of them have been arrested even though they are known to the police.
From the foregoing and many other unmentioned examples, it is succinctly clear that Mr Edgar Lungu and the PF are the instigators and beneficiaries of political and community related violence since the Chawama panga wielding incidents.
As UPND in power in 2021, courtesy of God’s will and the people of Zambia, we will from day one outlaw cadrism and political violence by ensuring law and order reign supreme.
We will allow law enforcement agencies to independently exercise their constitutional obligations to maintain order that will be devoid of political interference. We will not meddle in their professional duties to bring sanity and dignity back to our communities.
Our mothers in public markets and the travelling public in bus stations will no longer be terrorised by PF thugs that harass them and extort their hard earned money as is the current norm under the PF and Mr Edgar Lungu. Zambia shall return to normalcy and respectability once again.
On the commemoration on Human Rights Day, we would like to assure all Zambians that under our leadership, their rights will be fully respected.