Growing discontentment in UPND at the pace of transition, as PF structures regroup and unleash violence.
By Mike Nsama
As President Hakainde Hichilema prepares to depart for Washington in a few days time, he will leave behind a UPND government whose State structure is being driven PF machinery from head to toe. The most senior Civil Servant, Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti and all Permanent Secretaries and Directors in all Ministeries were handpicked under the the patronage benevolence of former President Edgar Lungu, guided the PF’s Constitution of empowering such positions to those that confessed their loyalty to the former ruling party.
Apart from the Police and Correctional Service, all Law Enforcement Agencies are being controlled by Lungu appointed officials who many Zambians view as having abbetted financial and other crimes committed by President Edgar Lungu. Amnesty International, a respected human rights body has attested to shocking human rights abuses by President Edgar Lungu and his Security structure that is largely intact a month after Hichilema won a landslide election.
UPND ground structures are being annihilated by the PF units who refuse to recognise nor see any symbolic shift of power to the UPND. Markets that represent the character of Zambian political power are subsequently still in the hands of the PF. President Hichilema’s order to drive ‘cadresim’ out of the markets appears to have been ignored by the PF who see no visible change in the transfer of power to the new administration.
Yesterday a UPND Chakunkula Ward Chairman Chimuka Njoomona was hounded out of Chelstone Market by PF cadres dressed in their party regalia and was told by the thugs that ‘there is no change’. The Police who are mainly PF aligned are only arresting UPND members as a result of the order by the President to deal with cadrerism while leaving the PF scot-free as they carry out their mischief.
The growing youth frustration was yesterday aggravated by Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu who said that there was likely going to be no change of Law Enforcement Chiefs from DEC, FIC, ACC and others as long as they did their job. These Institutional Heads are viewed by many as a visual and symbolic representation of the criminal and corrupt face of Edgar Lungu, who brutalised and impoverished citizens in his 7 year reign. His reign of terror galvanised citizens to offer their solidarity to President Hakainde Hichilema.
Unless President Hakainde Hichilema shows a real willingness to take over power that is ironically already in his hands, there’s likely to be a rebellion from his own party and most seriously from ordinary citizens. People voted for change and they want to see change.