STATEMENT […final version]
By Dr Canisius Banda
Vice President (Political) UPND
On the 17th September 2016, the Daily Nation newspaper carried a headline, ” GBM, CANISIUS DIFFER.”
By this article, an impression was created that that there is acrimony or bad blood between myself and Vice President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
There is no such thing.
I wish to state for the record that I am deeply disappointed that this newspaper has created, either deliberately or inadvertently, an impression which is non existent.
Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and myself are enjoying a strong working relationship in managing the affairs of our party.
Our position on the election petition as a party was clearly articulated by our President Hakainde Hichilema and our other alliance partners at the said press conference.
We have stated that, based on the evidence that we have in the pending petition, Mr Edgar Lungu’s Presidency can only be considered legitimate after the petition is heard as this would be the only condition that would authenticate it.
In the meantime, the leadership is calling on all Zambians who respect the rule of law and who believe that their vote was stolen to democratically fight for their freedoms until the petition is heard.
I wish to state that there are those in the PF and some media houses who are on a witch hunt and deliberately want to twist words from our leadership to insinuate that we as a party are fomenting violence.
President Hichilema and the leadership have made it clear that illegality and violence will not be options in our struggle to get the petition heard.
We have sufficient good will from Zambians to use other democratic means to ensure that our petition is heard.
It is gratifying to note that, with all the provocation from the PF, the opposition has refused to succumb to violence.
I wish to assure all our UPND members nationwide that your leadership remains united and is not going to be deterred or distracted from ensuring that we recover the lost vote and get the petition heard.
No media house or individual will intimidate us in our quest to get justice.
In conclusion, I wish to state in a categorical manner that anyone insinuating that it is me who said that GBM is inciting citizens to wage a violent revolution has taken leave of their senses.
I said no such thing. And, as far as I know, my fellow UPND VP is NOT doing that. I know GBM as a passionate advocate of democracy and its institutions.
May national unity and peace indeed reign.