The United Party for National Development – UPND Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says it is not their Party’s policy to propagate political violence as the law has various provisions that stipulates an offense and its punishment.
Mr Mweetwa who is also the Southern Province Minister mentioned that the UPND and President Hakainde Hichilema will not reward supporters and cadre’s illegalities, as the UPND victory is for all Zambians, adding that the UPND cadres collecting money from marketeers or bus drivers have no blessing from the government nor the Party thus they should be reported to the Police.
Mr Mweetwa stated that despite people in this country knowing that criminality is a wrong thing morally and legally, they have not stopped committing criminal offences because it is in the blood of humanity to violet the law, that is why there are these remnants and isolated incidences of violence.
Mr Mweetwa expressed contentment that even if some people get involved in acts of violence, the Police swiftly move in to arrest the culprits, this is the difference with what was pertaining in the past where the victims of political violence end up being the one in prison, this time perpetrators despite the political regalia they are putting on they get nabbed by the Police.
“But we are saying this is an existing problem that we must not run away from but it’s not proportions that were there before, progress has been made and for all those who are getting involved the President has made it clear that they are on their own,” he said
Mr Mweetwa said that as people may be aware of one classical incidence where after the 2021 General Elections, youths in Mazabuka attacked somebody who was alleged to be aligned to the Patriotic Front – PF and the Police quickly moved in and arrested them, and they are currently convicted not withstanding that they were purportedly doing it in the name of the UPND.
He further said that all other acts of impunity that have taken place, just a few months ago, youths that were demarcating plots along the Tokyo Way Ring Road where all arrested and they are appearing in court.
Mr Mweetwa noted that anybody who has committed an act of controversy against the law under the New Dawn Administration not withstanding their political affiliations they have either been convicted or are appearing before the court of law, that is progress and rule of law.
“We do believe that with this precedence being set, those who intend to walk on this carpet of politics of incumbency to be able to violet the law, they will soon realize that when the President says you are on your own, he means business,” he said
Mr Mweetwa highlighted this when he made an appearance on HOT FM Hot Seat Programme today.
Meanwhile, UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda stated that the New Dawn Government will defend every Zambian’s right to freely express themselves, adding that the incident that occurred at Lusaka’s Kabwata Police Station on Wednesday, where opposition Golden Party leader, Mr Jackson Silavwe, had his social media engagement disrupted by a group of unidentified people, cannot pass without comment.
In a press statement issued to the media, Mr Imenda noted with sadness that despite President Hakainde Hichilema and the New Dawn administration’s strict adherence to the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression, some of the citizens have tried to take the law into their hands to meet out whatever harm they deem appropriate against their political enemies.
He stated that such open disregard to the rule of law, as restored by the UPND-led New Dawn Administration, is a matter of law enforcement and does not in any way amount to a shift in the Presidency’s clearly stated stance over the constitutional right to expression for all Zambians regardless.
“We want to believe that, it is because of the position that President Hichilema and the New Dawn Administration have taken over the right to freedom of expression, that we have seen some individuals use clearly insulting language against others, even President Silavwe admitted that he is one of the Presidents who does not insult, meaning there are those Presidents who insult,” he said
Mr Imenda said that the position of this government has always been that where there are perceived excesses in any person’s manner of expression, the law must take its course, and it is this stance which has enabled the law enforcement agencies to allow people like President Silavwe to offer solidarity to those who might have come into conflict with the law in this regard, something that was unthinkable over a year ago.
“As we continue to restore the rule of law in this respect, the UPND would like to assure every Zambian that their right to freely express themselves as guaranteed by the Constitution, will be defended without any bias, even if it is an attack against any fellow Zambian,” he stated
Mr Imenda has since called on the Police to get to the bottom of the sad incident where President Silavwe’s social media interaction was disrupted by a group of unidentified people outside Kabwata Police Station in Lusaka. Clearly, the law must take its course in this matter involving President Silavwe’s unfettered enjoyment of his right to expression and association.