The United Party for National Development (UPND) has charged that the failure by President Edgar Lungu to attend the Peace Conference that was organized by the three church mother bodies and the Civil Society shows the President’s lack of respect to the organisers of the Conference and confirms the lack of seriousness the President takes on matters of peace and national security.
In a statement released to the media by the party’s Information and Publicity Secretary Otis Bwalya, the party said that unlike President Lungu and the PF, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND believe in politics of peace and unity.
Below is the full statement
PRESIDENT LUNGU SNUBBED THE PEACE CONFERENCE BECAUSE HE IS THE No.1 SUPPORTER AND SPONSOR OF VIOLENCE.
The failure by President Edgar Lungu to attend the Peace Conference that was organized by the three church mother bodies and the Civil Society does not only show the President’s lack of respect to the organisers of the Conference but also confirms the lack of seriousness the President takes on matters of peace and national security.It is clear to us, President Lungu is the number sponsor and supporter of political violence in the country.
Unlike President Lungu and the PF, our President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND believe in politics of peace and unity. Once we from government on 12 August, we shall end all forms of political violence once and for all.
It is a pity that today citizens live in fear of being terrorised by political carders who have full blessings from higher authorities. In the PF government, party carders are untouchable. They can maim citizens at will or worse still attack a Police Station and go unpunished. There shall be no sacred cows in the UPND led government. All perpetrators of violence shall be brought to book regardless of their standing in society.
If President Lungu had the political will to end violence, he could have easily done so. But unfortunately, he and the Pf believe in politics of intimidation and blood shed. We have reported to the police on a number of times how our members have been attacked by PF carders, nothing has been done. Ordinary citizens too have reported how they have fallen victim to well orchestrated violence from the PF security, the complaints have not been attended to.
We cannot talk about the many of our members and ordinary citizens that have been killed by the PF carders because the mentioning of those incidences bring back gruesome memories that invoke traumatic recollections especially to families members, while the killers of their beloved ones roam the streets freely. The PF have always been abating violence from day one because it directly benefits them.
The UPND led government under the leadership of President Hichilema shall give the police full autonomy and independence to operate professionally in the service of the Zambian people because we believe in their capacity. A professional and independent police service is key to ending political violence. We shall depoliticise the police service.
In conclusion, we would like to thank President HH for showing commitment and leadership not only at Mulungushi Conference Center yesterday during signing of the Peace Pledge but in as far as the fight against political violence is concerned. As a party we have always emphasised on our commitment to peaceful campaign and indeed peaceful elections, at least from our end, no matter the provocation.
INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY (IPS).
LUSAKA PROVINCE, UPND