By ROGERS KALERO
MANOEUVRES to bar some former Patriotic Front Members of Parliament to re-contest their nullified seats on tramped up charges are undemocratic and a serious manifestation of dictatorial tendencies by the UPND government, the PF has said.
Such a move will not help the UPND in any way, but will instead aggravate the anger that the majority poverty-stricken Zambians have against the ruling party due to the high cost of living, the PF has said.
PF Copperbelt Media Director Munalula Moola said, because of the high cost of living and the worsening hunger, the UPND was unlikely to grab the Kwacha and Kabushi parliamentary by-elections set for September 15 hence manoeuvres to bar popular PF candidates from contesting the two by-elections. Mr Moola said whether the UPND succeeds with their manoeuvres to stop the PF candidates from contesting the two by-elections or not, the electorate in the two constituencies will ensure that the UPND candidates lose miserably so that the ruling party learns a lesson that it does not pay to be unfair and vindictive.
“Yes, we know that they want to arrest our candidates on tramped up charges which are not bailable because they are damn scared of them. They know that they cannot beat Joe Malanji in Kwacha constituency, they cannot beat Bowman Lusambo in Kabushi, hence they want to use the police, the courts and other law enforcement agencies to bar them from re-contesting their seats.
“It shameful that a ruling party which claims to be popular can sink so low as to use law enforcement agencies to stop opposition party candidates. The conduct of the UPND in the one year of being in government has been more of a dictatorship than democracy. Any way, whether they stop Mr Malanji and Mr Lusambo from re-contesting the two seats, their chances of winning are slim,’’ Mr Moola said.
Mr Moola said whatever they will do to the PF and its candidates, the former ruling party will go flat out to decampaign the UPND because its conduct in the one year it has been in government has shown that it does not mean well.
He said from the beginning when the UPND formed government, it had clearly shown that its intentions was not to serve the people of Zambia, but to finish the PF through using courts to nullify election seats which were won by the PF, seizing property and assets owned by PF leaders, members and sympathisers.
“With this happening in the one year of the UPND, it shows the ruling party is not interested in peace, but persecution of the PF leaders and its members. They used courts to nullify the Kwacha and Kabushi seats, now they want to go further to bar our candidates from contesting their respective seats. This is persecution and persecution has its time frame.
“As PF, we may be on the receiving end of the UPND persecution, but in Kwacha and Kabushi, we will die a little to ensure that UPND loses. Yes, the UPND must lose especially that some of the candidates they want to adopt are crooks with a very bad reputation in communities,’’ he said.