EXCLUSIVE REPORT FROM HAKAINDE HICHILEMA
Yesterday we had planned to hold a small and peaceful gathering of our supporters ahead of the by-election in Sesheke Maondo Ward, in Western Province. It is so important for our loyal supporters around Zambia that we are still able to campaign for them and make the effort to get out into the villages to see our people and remind them that we are still fighting for their rights in government.
Given the upcoming by-election President Lungu was also in Western Province, about 35km from where we were. Suddenly our gathering was interrupted by 100 heavily armed men, police officers (though some say these are just PF thugs in police clothing) opened heavy fire on us, including with machine guns. By the grace of God we were able to escape out of the back and ran into the forest. From there we spent 8 hours trying to gather up as many of our supporters as possible and run for safety. There were little children desperately trying to escape the violence, just running in all directions. Many of these children have now had to sleep in the bush. As yet we are still trying to establish how many people have been injured and the extent of those injuries.
This is just a further example of how ruthless and brutal President Lungu and his PF Party have become. He has seen the violence that has taken place in Zimbabwe in recent weeks and decided that if they can do it, then he can do it too. Unless this man can be stopped, Zambia will be destroyed beyond recognition.
I call now on all the Zambian people, civil society and international community to unite together to say this sort of violence will no longer be tolerated in Zambia. This is not who we are as Zambians, and me must now come together to stop this monstrous and violence dictatorship.