President of the Socialist Party Dr Fred M’membe has said President Hakainde Hichilema is responsible for the political and electoral violence by UPND cadres.
And Dr. M’membe has charged that the UPND Government has become arrogant.
In his facebook post, the Socialist Party leader said the buck for the political and electoral violence by UPND cadres witnessed in some parts of the country stops at Mr Hichilema.
He charged that Mr Hichilema has made no visible effort to stop the violence of UPND cadres.
Dr. M’membe said it was unfortunate that Mr Hichilema has not even acknowledged the violence of his party cadres.
“The buck for the political and electoral violence by UPND cadres stops at Mr Hakainde Hichilema. And since becoming President of the Republic of Zambia over a year ago, Mr Hichilema has made no discernible effort to stop the violence of UPND cadres. Mr Hichilema has not even acknowledged the violence of his party cadres. And he has not openly repudiated it. The danger resulting from Mr Hichilema’s failure to minimise the potential threat of violent UPND cadres is no less potent than the harm caused by violent UPND cadres; the toleration of intolerance. Since last year’s elections, UPND cadres have been attacking Socialist Party and PF candidates, supporters and campaigners in almost every by-election,” Dr. M’membe said.
Dr. M’membe lamented the impact of political and electoral violence by UPND cadres.
“Innocent citizens are being injured and their property destroyed by UPND cadres without arrests and prosecutions and without a word from Mr Hichilema. There’s total impunity and silence. It seems for Mr Hichilema what only matters is for him and his party to win elections. The lives and dignity of political opponents doesn’t matter much to him. Look at the impunity and silence over Makungo’s death! Arrests and prosecutions are only happening where UPND cadres were at the receiving end. What type of a President is this? And he wants to be respected by all citizens when he cares only about the lives and dignity of those belonging to UPND! In the ongoing campaigns for the by-elections of November 4, 2022 there has been violence by UPND cadres in Lusangazi, Mkushi, Serenje, Mwense and other wards but there are no arrests. People have been badly injured and Mr Hichilema has been silent because the attackers are UPND cadres and the injured are seen to be political opponents,” he said.
Dr. M’membe urged Mr. Hichilema to act on UPND cadres’ violence now.
“Like a growing number of civic minded Zambians, we are increasingly anxious that this country is headed toward the worst forms of political and electoral violence since independence in 1964.Our biggest concern is that if this violence is not stopped now, a disputed presidential election—especially if there are close contests, or if a well supported candidate denounces the legitimacy of the process—could generate uncontrollable violence and bloodshed. Unfortunately, we’re not being alarmist about the potential for violence; trends in public opinion that we’ve been hearing provide strong grounds for concern,” he said.
“From what we have been hearing, there’s an upswing in the number of Zambians who feel counter violence would be justified if UPND cadres continue to attack their political opponents with impunity. This growing acceptance of the possibility of violence is growing. The willingness to justify violence as a way to achieve political goals has essentially been rising in lockstep. We urge Mr Hichilema to act on UPND cadres’ violence now,” Dr. M’membe stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. M’membe has alleged that the UPND Government has become arrogant.
“This UPND government is too self-satisfied and too little criticized for its own good or for ours. They have tried to silence all the critical voices by appointing critics or potential critics to some boards, commissions and so on and so forth. They are also openly interfering with the work of important institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), the Judiciary and Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). This is not a recipe for governing well. The wheel of fortune turns and that which once appeared fresh, with the passing of time goes to seed. We do not underestimate the UPND or the aggressive path to leadership that they have taken, to win at all cost. In the years before the election, they tenaciously laid bare the areas of life and policy where the public felt dissatisfied and angry with the PF and its government. They did not win merely by default, but because they managed to capture the public mood. Today, they have become arrogant and all we hear is Fimba Upoke,” Dr. M’membe said.
He concluded:”Today the UPND government may want to appear that they are strong and confident, but problems lie ahead. They don’t seem to know where they are headed, and that is dangerous. UPND’s great achievement is directionless leadership: they appear to be in control, but no one knows where they are leading. Up to today, they have failed to define the purpose of their government. We perceive no ideological roots. We can detect no sense of direction. They are high on boasting, show offs, bragging, rhetoric, posturing and promises. But they will in the end be judged not on what they say but on what they do.”