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FREEDOM FOR ALL

Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila is right to call on the new government to take stern ac- tion against UPND cadres who have continued attack- ing their supporters as the “barbaric” behaviour can degenerate into a catastrophe.

FREEDOM FOR ALL

WE are glad that one of the top officials in the United Party for National Development (UPND) has openly called for an end to this strange new culture evolving in the nation of sending death threats to people criticising the government.

Government critics have always been there since the country’s independence from the multiparty era to the one-party state.

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They continued to exist even after the country re- turned to multi-party politics in 1991 but there never were reports of people receiving death threats.

Death threats have only come to the fore this time round after the UPND assumed the reins of govern- ment.

We hope those who have been threatening other people with death are doing so under the mistaken belief that the government should not be criticised be- cause it is too early.

It is therefore gratifying that the UPND national chairman, Mr Stephen Katuka has been emphatic by declaring that death threats on people offering checks and balances on the new government will not be toler- ated and must stop immediately.

Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila is right to call on the new government to take stern ac- tion against UPND cadres who have continued attack- ing their supporters as the “barbaric” behaviour can degenerate into a catastrophe.

Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo and some PF officials have been receiv- ing death threats from some UPND cadres.

Mr Tembo said UPND supporters were responding with rage and violence because of the advice and checks and balances which he had been providing to the new government.

But Mr Katuka said it was absurd for anyone to think of taking away someone’s life just because they hold divergent views.

Mr Katuka said each person had their own opinions and that it was important to respect the opinions of others.

“I don’t encourage or support people making death threats. We will not tolerate death threats. Just be- cause someone does not hold the same view as you then you want to terminate their life, that will not be condoned,” Mr Katuka said.

Moreover, even President Hakainde Hichilema has gone on record to assure that no one should be jailed for criticising his administration, signaling a new dawn.

On Tuesday during the swearing-in of the new Zambia Correctional Services chiefs at State House, Mr Hichilema even directed his press aide Anthony Bwalya to arrange for a special programme on radio where anyone could ask him any question.

With the “new dawners” promising an open society where ideas flow freely, where are those issuing death threats getting their confidence?

Zambians have always believed in an open society where people are free to live their lives in line with the law.

People ought to realise that there can only be peace and prosperity in the country when citizens are free without having to look over their shoulders before voicing an opinion.

That is not the Zambia they want. Let them enjoy their freedoms for they have fought hard to be where they are.

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