UPND arrogance

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 10:54:44 +0000


THE insolence by the United Party for National Development (UPND) to go ahead with their planned Kanyama political rally despite police advice must be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians.

This insistence defies logic and exhibits an insatiable appetite for wrongdoing. This is not surprising particularly that barely a week a fortnight ago its members of Parliament, with the exception of one, equally opted to abscond constitutional presidential address to Parliament.

It is common knowledge that the legal requirement to notify the police of any planned political gatherings is meant to avert political violence. Maintaining law and order in society is the police’s primary duty.

The decision by the police to either issue a permit or not is arrived at after careful consideration of a number of factors such as availability of manpower and the general security situation in a particular location where the gathering is planned for.

We know that the police advised the UPND against holding a rally at Twashuka ground in Kanyama constituency today for a good reason – that Lusaka is still politically unstable, hence not conducive to hold a political rally.

The UPND leadership was ably counselled by the police command to appeal its decision not give them a go ahead to hold a rally to the Minister of Home Affairs Mr Steven Kampyongo if they were not satisfied with the reason (s) advanced.

Did the UPND top leadership heed to the police’s counsel? Why should the UPND defiantly go ahead with its rally?

It does not require one to have political knowhow to decipher that the antagonistic political approach the UPND has adopted is purely for political expedience.

The UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his honchos deceptively think that unreasonable bravery is the only way the party will remain relevant to Zambia’s politics. Is this correct?

We do not think so, and the UPND leaders are fully cognisant of this. Why should the UPND leadership abdicate the responsibility of organising the Kanyama rally to party youths?

It is otiose for the UPND leadership to shield itself from taking responsibility of organising the illegal gathering which the Lusaka Province UPND youth spokesperson Mr. Gilbert Liswaniso has vowed the party will hold today.

This is nothing but cheap political gimmick to avoid public condemnation. The youths cannot on their own organise a rally where the UPND party leader Mr Hichilema and his vice president are scheduled to address them without authorisation.

Thus, it is simple logic that by the UPND secretariat allowing the youths to organise the rally, thereby ignoring police advice, the party has endorsed illegality and shall be held to account.

In fact, the UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma is on record to have stated that the party would still go ahead even though the police did not issue them with a permit.

Needless to mention that the UPND leadership has been arrogantly daring the police on a number of occasions in the past.

For instance, we recall vividly that circumstances that surrounded the shooting of a UPND cadre Mapenzi last year were similar to the case under review. Police had advised the UPND leadership against holding a rally in Chawama constituency for security reasons but the party brazenly defied its counsel, hence the unfortunate incident in which a life was lost.

We think, it is high time the UPND leadership came to terms with reality that being antagonistic with the Government will not change the mere fact that they lost last year’s elections.

Deliberately causing anarchy to accentuate political tension does not make the party popular but unpopular. Why does the Registrar of Societies not consider de-registering such political parties?


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