The United Party for National Development (UPND) has said that the continued police harassment and summoning of its leader Hakainde Hichilema for merely expressing his constitutional rights to expression will not be tolerated.
UPND National Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa who confirmed the police summoning of President Hichilema at a media briefing yesterday morning urged the police to advise President Edgar Lungu against flouting Covid guidelines as that was being unfair to the opposition.
Mr.Mweetwa said the Police could not serve President Hichilema with the summon as his lawyers were unavailable to receive it being a weekend with the legal team out of Lusaka attending to other legal matters involving UPND members.
“The police yesterday wanted to serve a summon on President Hichilema but couldn’t because his legal team was not available to receive it. As you might be aware, most of our lawyers are out of Lusaka attending to other cases involving party members.The police were asked to hold onto the summon for further advice on how to deliver the summon. But the fillers received so far indicate that HH is alleged to have been campaigning in Chongwe against Covid guidelines when we all saw that all he did was to distribute face masks to members of the public as a personal contribution towards the fight against Covid,”he said.
He asked the police to advise President Lungu against flouting Covid regulations as that is making the job of enforcing the guidelines difficult as it is being viewed as the selective application of the law.
“President Lungu has been drawing large crowds in the name of inspecting government projects as was the case at Mtendere market in Lusaka and his visits to Mwinilunga and the Copperbelt where covid guidelines were disregarded.Why is it that the police actively invokes their duty to enforce the Covid regulations on the opposition UPND Alliance but turn a blind eye when Edgar Lungu and his PF flout the same law? Why is it that the ECZ is quick at enforcing its code on the opposition but slow on the PF? Where is democracy? We shall not allow the police to continue to harass one individual who is merely expressing his right to ascend to the highest office of the land and offer his services for the good of the public and the nation,” he added.
Mr.Mweetwa, who has called for calm from among members and wait for direction from the legal team, has since advised all Constituency chairpersons across the country to inform the police of their intentions to peacefully protest at local police stations on the day President Hichilema will be appearing at the police.
The recent police summoning of the UPND leader last December resulted in the shooting and killing by the police of two people which included a state prosecutor.