The UPND Alliance has rubbished President Edgar Lungu’s directive on law enforcement agencies to ensure that political parties do not hold political gatherings.
President Lungu announced that he had with immediate effect banned public gathering and political rallies, a move the Alliance feels is aimed at paving way for the PF to go into the coming elections without being challenged.
And commenting on the development during a Press Briefing in Lusaka today, UPND Alliance leader, President Hichilema stated that President Lungu’s directive was aimed at disadvantaging other candidates and political parties from selling their message to the electorate freely.
Mr Hichilema also said the forthcoming elections were the PF on one hand with the people of Zambia on the other.
“What our colleague did yesterday was to take away the rights of the people. This is the people’s campaign! The Mickey mouse that he (Lungu) was doing yesterday-he lost it! Therefore, all Alliance members and all Zambians let us go out and campaign. Let us campaign and the will of the people will win on the 12th of August. Students, marketeers, bus, taxi, truck drivers, this is your campaign. Farmers, this is your campaign. Why should Mr Lungu stop you from campaigning,” said Mr Hichilema.
Mr Hichilema said the it was unfortunate that PreiLungu wanted to prevent the marginalised sections of society by preventing them from freely campaigning.
And UPND Alliance Co-Chairman, Dr Ernest Mwansa of Zambia Development and Prosperity noted that it was obvious that the PF were afraid of being dwarfed by the expected huge crowds that are likely to attend the UPND rallies.
“The UPND Alliance knows too well that Lungu is afraid of the huge number of people that are likely to turn out at our rallies. He knows too well that if we are to hold rallies, the PF’s political gatherings would be dwarfed,” he said.
Chair of the UPND Alliance, Charles Milupi called the directive “outrageous” and an infringement on the rights of citizens to express themselves and expressly to prevent the opposition from selling their political ideologies to the electorate.
Mr Milupi charged that if the PF were truly concerned about adhering to COVID-19 protocols, they wouldn’t have been holding huge party gatherings in the guise of implementing and inspecting Government projects.
Mr Milupi also stressed that it was regrettable that Mr Lungu could make pronouncements inimical to human rights violations, charging that the UPND Alliance members would ensure that they adhered to the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines during campaigns.
ZED President, Dr. Ernest Mwansa, National Democratic Congress-NDC-interim President, Josephs Akafumba and Republican Progressive Party-RPP-President, Leslie Chikuse were some of the UPND Alliance leaders who attended the briefing.