PF wants HH away from Mangango campaigns – NDC

NDC vice-president Josephs Akafumba says the police callout on Hakainde is foolish intimidation as well as an attempt to keep the UPND leader off the Mangango parliamentary by-election campaigns. Meanwhile, Operation Young Vote executive director Guess Nyirenda has asked the police command to reverse the order suspending opposition campaigns in Mangango on account of President Edgar Lungu being in the area from November 15 to 19.

On Friday, police in Ndola summoned UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to report himself for investigations at Copperbelt Division headquarters on Wednesday this week.

“You are requested to report yourself to Zambia Police Copperbelt Division headquarters, Ndola, on 14/11/2018 at 09:00 hours for the purpose of investigations. You will not be kept longer than absolutely necessary, ” according to the callout signed by Gloria C. Mulele, deputy division Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO).

There are growing machinations, albeit veiled, by the State to arrest Hichilema, alleging that he incited some Kitwe residents to riot last week – to protest the supposed sale of Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO).

But in an interview, Akafumba – a former Southern Province PF chairperson – said attempts by the PF to take Zambians’ attention away from the current economic hardships by harassing Hichilema and other opposition leaders such as Chishimba Kambwili would not work.

“The continued harassment of opposition leaders, especially UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema, is just an act of foolish intimidation by the PF. They are merely trying to keep HH away from the Mangango parliamentary by-elections so that he can’t campaign against them,” Akafumba, who also served as Ministry of Justice permanent secretary during Michael Sata’s reign, said. “However, no matter what happens, the decision of Zambians is already an exit mode against the PF.”

Akafumba said Zambians were fed up with the PF’s lies amidst an increase in poverty levels and unemployment among the youths. He said the PF leadership was very scared of the opposition.

“We in the NDC have a stance taken by our consultant Chishimba Kambwili calling on the PF to keep their hands away from HH and that will not change because we know that even CK [Chishimba Kambwili] is not spared from this harassment,” Akafumba said.

“However, we call on all Zambians to rally behind the NDC and campaign for change in 2021. We are being faced with a lot of difficulties which can easily be overcome with a serious minded leadership, which is committed to fighting graft, a leadership that will once again put the poor Zambians’ plight first, and a leadership that is committed to creating employment for the majority of our youths who are roaming the streets; a leadership that is dedicated to ensuring that justice prevails for all by respecting Zambians human rights; a leadership that will ensure that the police is given a space to act professionally without undue influence by party cadres.”

Akafumba said with the current levels of police brutality and harassment, Zambia was destined to become a worst country on the world’s Human Rights Index. He said the country could also become the poorest and most corrupt nation in Africa, if not the world.

“I see ourselves sinking further on major world indexes, especially on unemployment, poverty and corruption. However, the NDC is there to provide a solution to all this,” said Akafumba.

And the Zambia police in Mangango has informed stakeholders that they would not be allowed to conduct any activities between November 15 to 19 because the President would be in the area. But Nyirenda yesterday said Zambia was seeing serious oppression which was even worse than what the colonial masters were doing. He said the decision by the Zambia Police to suspend opposition campaigns in Mangango from November 15 to 19 for reasons that the President would be in the area campaigning was not only retrogressive but an affront to the strides that Zambia had made in the democratic dispensation.

“We do not really understand why police and just the regime in general are behaving in the way they are behaving because they must be the first ones to realise that Zambia is in a multiparty democracy, but also they must be the first ones to promote all tenets of democracy,” he said.

“We wonder why it is a do or die situation in Mangango where now the President, because he is in the area then the rest of Zambians become second class citizens, they become nonentities, the opposition should stop to exist. I think this is uncalled for. This is unacceptable and the sooner the police reverse this particular draconian way of doing things, the better for Zambia because we know that the police at the end of the day have the command from the President himself, who is the Commander-In-Chief.”

Nyirenda said if the police were unable to reverse the order then the President himself must take interest. He said President Lungu must take a step and ask the police to say, no “this is uncalled for; this is not what we want in the country” and allow the opposition to campaign in other areas within Mangango. He said Mangango had a number of wards.

He said the President could be campaigning in one ward on a day and the opposition could be campaigning in those other particular wards.

“And you want to stop all campaigns for the opposition because the President is in the area! This is not the Zambia we want,” Nyirenda said. “And we shall not keep quiet until the police does what is right. This is uncalled for, it’s unacceptable and no Zambian should accept this, including the opposition themselves; they must stand up and say this is unacceptable. We cannot go back to the kind of life where only a few people, the bazungus [whites] are important then us the blacks are not. And this is what we actually see in the Patriotic Front. We are seeing serious oppression, even worse than what the colonial masters were doing.”

Nyirenda said the police action was highly unacceptable.

“They must realise that we are in the 21st century and in this century we are not going to allow such kind of way of doing things of wanting to take us back,” said Nyirenda. “And as Operation Young Vote we want to put it on record that this is unacceptable and it must be stopped henceforth.”

UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka said his party had received information to that effect and were yet to talk to the ECZ director of elections.

Electoral Commission of Zambia public relations manager Margaret Chimanse said she did not have such information.

“That’s not what is on the ground; there is no such a thing,” said Chimanse.

Source: The Mast

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