By AARON CHIYANZO
IT is mere rhetoric and politicking for Hakainde Hichilema to claim that he is ready to dialogue with President Edgar Lungu when he has been silent over the looting and thuggery behaviour of UPND cadres, stakeholders have said.
The stakeholders said Mr Hichilema was trying to gain political mileage by pretending to be championing the fight against political violence. A PF official, Lemmy Bwalya and Zambian DNA spokesperson, Spuki Mulemwa said if Mr Hichilema was serious about stopping violence, he would have started by taming his “violent” cadres.
Mr Bwalya, who is an official from Mandevu constituency, said the failure by Mr Hichilema to condemn the barbaric conduct of cadres during a road show in the area attested that their acts had his blessings.
He said in an interview that unlike Mr Hichilema, President Lungu had on several occasions publicly condemned violence irrespective of who was involved.
Mr Bwalya said President Lungu had already presented a clear stance to PF members that he was ready to disown anyone who would get involved in violence.
He said Mr Hichilema had never spoken out against violence and wondered why it should take him to dialogue with President Lungu for him to act responsibly.
“Why does it have to take Mr Hichilema months to act against violence by his supporters and now he is calling for dialogue with President Lungu for him to act. President Lungu is doing his part, we are now waiting for HH to do his part,” Mr Bwalya said.
And Mr Mulemwa said Mr Hichilema was not being insincere about the dialogue he was advocating for.
He said Mr Hichilema only wanted to gain political mileage by pretending to be readily available for dialogue with President Lungu.
Mr Mulemwa said there was nothing to warrant dialogue between President Lungu and Mr Hichilema as the opposition leader only needed to tame is violent cadres.