MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba has condemned the unwarranted police brutality which has claimed lives of 3 innocent Zambians, gunned down by armed police at Downtown Shopping Mall along Kafue Road, part of a large crowd on their way to a UPND rally in Chawama which was cancelled by police at short notice. The police had allegedly waylaid the crowd at Downtown mall, opened fire and in the process killed one on the spot, and two pronounced dead at the University Teaching Hospital with several others seriously wounded.
Dr Mumba has said Presdient Lungu as Commander in Chief must take full responsibility for what has happened as the Police command reports to him and takes orders from him. He has consequently called for the immediate resignation of the Inspector-General of Police and Lusaka Province Commissioner of Police and demanded an urgent enquiry to establish the events that led to the tragic event.
“ I appeal to all Zambians to remain calm in this very trying moment and allow ourselves mourn the 3 innocent lives in a befitting and dignified Zambian manner. On behalf of the entire membership and leadership of the MMD, I convey sincere condolonces to the families of the 3 departed souls, heartfelt condolonces to my brother the President of the UPND Hakainde Hichilema and the entire leadership and membership of the UPND,” he said.
In a strongly worded statement released at an emergency media briefing in Kawambwa, Dr. Mumba said recent desperate actions by President Lungu and the Patriotic Front government against opposition parties which include arbitrary cancellation of opposition party rallies; gagging of private media houses shown by the closure of the Post newspaper and harrassment of Mano Radio in Kasama; confirmed reports of plans to rig the elections; blackout of the opposition from public media; compromising of courts of law by Mr. Lungu who is a lawyer; his impunitous violation of the Zambian Constitution by openlly allowing a former president to take control of the country’s political landscape while at the same time enjoying lavish benefits of a former president paid by taxpayers; President Lungu’s mocking of God by calling for prayers for his own murderous violence perpetrated in killing innocent civilians, are all proof that it is Mr. Lungu and the PF who are the ones perpetrating violence and not the opposition and all these had been pointing to a breaking point which has unfortunately resulted in the tragic incident at Downtown Shopping Mall.
He said this is because Mr. Lungu had become determined in frustrating all opposition activities and has become impervious and has closed his ears to all voices of reason including that exhibited at the recent snubbing of an American envoy, who tried to warn him against the dangerous path he had chosen to silence everyone and allow only his voice to be heard at the blatant exclusion of the opposition in a country which is supposed to be democratic.
“This reckless police action was irresponsible and unnecessary. Mr. Lungu must know that we are now in a campaign season and the Electoral Commission of Zambia Code of Conduct clearly allows all political parties to campaign freely and receive equal media coverage from all media including the public media. He reminded the PF that they campaigned freely in 2011 and should not allow the primitive police manouvres and President Lungu’s silence on this matter, only choosing to call the opposition ‘cry-babies,” he said.
He further said the President’s reckless behaviour lately was exposing not only his weak leadership qualities but also his extreme panic and anxiety at the prospect of losing the elections which the PF are bound to lose due to their appalling governance record and arrogant leadership style with which they have taken Zambians for granted since coming to power. He said it was the same arrogance and lawlessness that was responsible for the removal of Mr. Rupiah Banda and the MMD from power in 2011, which he had warned the PF to guard against when he took over as MMD President in 2012.
He has urged Zambians to remember that Zambia is a Christian nation and should not be swayed by sponsored ‘christian’ voices who are not telling Mr. Lungu the truth and it was incumbent on Zambians to demand premier leadership and not mediocre leadership in this era of moral decay. As the Bemba saying goes:
“Impanga iyabula inkalamu, ba kolwe naba koswe bala teka” (In a jungle where there is no lion, even a monkey or a rat can rule).
He said President Lungu and the PF have already lost control of the country and the tragic events at Downtown Mall are a chilling sign that President Lungu is desperate and willing to sacrifice lives of Zambians for the sake of extending his tenure at State House when it is abundantly clear that the bell for his departure is already ringing.
May the souls of the dear departed rest in peace.