By KETRA KALUNGA
THE UPND leadership is abusing the criminal justice system to fix political opponents and critics, Socialist Party President, Fred M’membe has said.
Dr. M’membe said the country was witnessing a worrying abuse of the criminal justice system by the UPND leadership, its cadres and the police under its control and direction.
He alleged that in a clearly coordinated manner, some UPND cadres are made to launch complaints of defamation of President Hakainde Hichilema in far flung areas of the country against individuals living in Lusaka who are then arrested and transported to these areas where they have no lawyers, family or friends.
Mr M’membe said in a statement that this was the case with Raphael Nakachinda who was arrested in Lusaka and transported to Solwezi and made to find his way back to Lusaka.
He said the same was now happening to Chilufya Tayali who picked up in Lusaka and taken to Lukulu in Western Province where he was charged and arrested.
“We hear there are plans to arrest Sean Tembo and take him to Ikelenge in North Western Province,” he said.
Dr. M’membe said the argument that the alleged defamation of the President by Mr. Tayali was committed on social media which could be accessed anywhere in the country was not justified and contrary to the rule of law which the UPND administration had promised Zambians.
He said that what the UPND leadership was doing was punishing individuals arrested in Lusaka and taken to far flung areas before they are convicted by making them suffer unnecessarily.
Mr. M’membe said what the UPND administration was doing does not in any way set them apart from the abuse they bitterly complained about under the PF government.
He said by allowing people to be unjustifiably arrested, detained and prosecuted, the UPND was sending a dangerous signal that the criminal justice system could be used to persecute and fix opponents of the President.
Mr. M’membe said such abuses of the criminal justice system are unacceptable and must be opposed and stopped.