UPND leaders inciting chaos

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 11:45:19 +0000


IT is highly irresponsible for the United Party for National Development (UPND) top brass to begin to fabricate stories surrounding the arrest of their leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Very clearly, this is nothing but a cheap political ploy to sway public attention on the seriousness of the charges the police slapped on Mr Hichilema. They want to psych the public into thinking that the UPND leader is not only unfairly charged but also politically persecuted when in fact not.

What transpired in Mongu on Saturday last week as captured on a video which has gone viral clearly shows the basis for police’s action. Mr Hichilema’s motorcade in an act of utter arrogance did not give way to the presidential m0torcade which literally implied blocking the President.

According to police’s assessment, this conduct by Mr Hichilema and his entourage was in breach of security protocol, hence endangered the life of the Republican President Mr Edgar Lungu.

It is on this premise that police on Tuesday night invaded Mr Hichilema’s residence to arrest him though they only managed to do so the following day.

Going by Mr Hichilema’s position in society, it is unthinkable that his arrest by police should be compared to an ordinary citizen. Obviously, some kind of resistance from UPND cadres, relatives and workers was expected.

In what has now become characteristic of the UPND cadres’ conduct, when word went round about police attempts to arrest Mr Hichilema’s, they ran amok on the pretext that he had been shot at.

Now it is the UPND lawyer Jack Mwiimbu making unsubstantiated statement that Mr Hichilema is unwell alleging police of having poisoned him.

What evidence does Mr Hichilema have that he was poisoned? Which qualified medical doctor has diagnosed Mr Hichilema to state he was poisoned? Is Mr Hichilema in possession of a medical report to that effect?

It is certain that UPND leaders are deliberately issuing inflammatory and careless statements about Mr Hichilema to incite their cadres to cause anarchy.

This is worrisome particularly that a senior lawyer of Mr Mwiimbu’s standing can go ahead to issue a careless statement when there is no medical report to ascertain the veracity and correctness of it.

In the absence of a medical report to proof Mr Hichilema’s claims of poisoning, his statement should be treated as sheer political rhetoric calculated to cause unnecessary political tension and pandemonium in the country.

However, such blatant political stunts of appealing to the public for sympathy is meant to distract focus on the legal matter and Zambians know of this cheap psychology so well.

As such, it is wishful thinking for the UPND leaders to make such statements which are devoid of proof.

In our view, the UPND lawyers should preoccupy themselves with how best they should defend Mr Hichilema on the string of charges police slapped on him and not issuing alarming statements that have the potential to plunge the country into chaos.

Mr Hichilema is not the only Zambian citizen to face a charge of treason. Other individuals have appeared before our courts of law on similar charge of treason and as law abiding citizens they had to follow due process of law and not trying to turn a legal matter political. Attempts to politicise Mr Hichilema’s arrest is purely misguided.

On this score, we concur with President Lungu that calls for him to quash the treason charge slapped on incarcerated UPND leader would amount to interference with other arms of government. Instead, let due process of law run its course.


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