ZCSD’s executive director Lewis Mwape demanded that the Zambia police command must apologise to the country and that President Lungu must release the UPND leader without delay.
The Police ‘Service Force’ must apologize to the Zambian people and the Head of State and release UPND president Hakainde Hichilema from his detention with immediate effect and forthwith drop all charges leveled against him, – Mwape demanded.
He said the current political test would further worsen the already stressed economy if the UPND leader was not released.
“Zambia Council for Social Development regrets that the current political test will further worsen already stressed economy and demand that His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu shows political leadership by commanding the police NOT to further hold United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema in detention,” Mwape said.
“Zambia Council for Social Development is worried that the failure by the state agencies to promote and uphold democratic principles and tenets in the country will affect our economic performance and perpetuate the miseries among the majority poor who are vulnerable and would not be resistant to further economic degradation.”
He said the current happenings in the country and persecution of political opponents were a threat to peace building and unification of the once one country, Zambia.
Mwape said the existence of a sound and democratic governance would be a recipe in the implementation of economic stabilisation and growth programmes.
“We at the Zambia Council for Social Development, as a national umbrella of Non-Governmental Organisations, call on President Lungu as a father of the Nation to act in the spirit of our great motto, ‘One Zambia one nation. The current happenings in the country and persecution of political opponents are a threat to peace building and unification of our once one country- Zambia,” Mwape said.
He further reminded presidential appointees serving in government that they were appointed to serve the people.
“ZCSD therefore wishes to remind ALL presidential appointees serving in government…they must strongly realise and remember that the president appointed them on behalf of the people and as such, public interest and public good must supersede serving an individual who may be tempted to abuse state apparatus to fight his political opponents,” Mwape said.
He urged the police service to decline to be used as tools to champion political battles.
“The Police Service as a public institution must refuse to be used as a tool for fighting political battles but maintaining law and order for all Zambians to enjoy, including opposition political leaders and those that may hold divergent views to those we have entrusted for the leadership and governance of the country,” Mwape said.
He called on the international community to intervene in the current happenings and ensure that Zambia remained peaceful, united in promoting and allowing democracy to thrive.
“Zambia is not an island. It belongs to the global community and its peaceful existence internally and externally is important for global peace and security. We therefore call on the international community to intervene and ensure that Zambia remains peaceful, united and promote and allow democracy to flourish,” Mwape said.
“President Lungu must know that apart from some Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who have deliberately or ignorantly chosen to believe in the action of the Inspector General of Police and his command to arrest and charge UNPD president, Hakainde Hichilema with treason and four other charges, sane Zambians and honest PF members know that charges on the UPND leader are a cover up on the inefficiencies and incompetence of the Inspector General of police Kakoma Kanganja and his team.”
He said it was clear that the police command failed in its duty to provide security to the Head of State.
“The majority citizens, including honest PF members across the country, are aware that the arrest and charging of the UNPD president Hakainde Hichilema (may his soul be strong) is just offered as a ransom by the police, the IG and his command for their ineffective, incompetent and failure to provide adequate security to the President on the material day,” said Mwape.
“Honestly, we the Zambian people could be made to believe that police made an attempt to stop UPND motorcade when more than 500 men and women in uniform were deployed in Western Province as an additional reinforcement of security in the province! President Edgar Lungu must be aware that even as his men and women in uniform are executing the persecution strategy. What is clear to the public is that the police command failed in its duty to provide security to the Head of State or the failure was a political strategy and that the charge leveled against UPND President was pre-conceived.”