We the MP’s from Western province feel duty bound to issue a statement on the happenings in the country and the arrest of President Hakainde Hichilema following events at the recently held Kuomboka ceremony.
We have a strong belief and conviction that as elected representatives of the people of western province, it is our responsibility to come up with a statement as a contribution to treat the cleavages and divisions in order to foster peace and unity in our country.
1. For the record , President Hakainde Hichilema was invited by the Barotse Royal Establishment through the Kuta to attend the ceremony.
2. As a leader of the official Oposition Party and one who respects our culture and traditions President HH accepted the invitation.
3.President HH arrived to a thunderous welcome the day before the Kuomboka and people were very happy to receive him.
4.The host MP requested for a programme for the kuomboka ceremony so that they could sequence the movement of HH and his entourage without interrupting the movement of President Edgar Lungu and his entourage- which request was turned down.
5. President HH visit to Lealui to see off the Litunga was incident free as the police manning the programme in Lealui were cooperative. The host MP’s were sent to arrange for a clear passage and sitting arrangements at Nayuma and Namoo. As soon as these arrangements were done President HH and his entourage were signalled to start off as all arrangement were in place
6. President HH time of departure was determined by Police Commissioner Charles Lungu who communicated to one of our senior party officials in Mongu and proof is there. Along the way were crowds that came to catch a glimpse at HH as his entourage drove along the road.
7.The Police should have advised President Lungu’s entourage on the need to clear the road before starting off. As a result a convoy of more than sixty vehicles was on the way to Limulunga before President Lungu’s motorcade started off.
8. As soon as President HH’s team realised that President Lungu’s motorcade was driving along side them, they drove to the side of the road to allow the motorcade to pass.
9.At the Arena and at the time of speeches President HH the leader of the official opposition political party was not acknowledged despite the fact that he was officially invited by the BRE to attend the kuomboka and we have invitation letters to this effect.
10. As it was getting dark HH and his entourage decided to leave the arena for security reasons as there was a large presence of police and other security operatives who were not concerned about providing security to the UPND delegation.
11. With the above background it is our view as MP’s to state that charges of treason and other charges are trumped up and have no weight in the laws of our country.
12. There is nothing that President HH did while attending the kuomboka as he did no break any laws of the country.
13. These arrests only serve to heighten tension and mistrust and further deepen the regional divisions in our country.
They undermine democracy and the fundamental tenets of governance in the country.
15. We therefore demand for the immediate and unconditional release of President HH and all other UPND supporters and sympathisers who are incarcerated on trumped up-charges, so that the process of healing and national reconciliation can begin.
AND that President HH be allowed to seek medical attention following his deteriorating health failure to which the Patriotic Front government will held rensponsible as he was in very good health before he was arrested.
As a Christian country we must invest in peace without which there can be no development.
Zambia must focus on fighting poverty and not fighting individuals.
UNITED FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT FROM WESTERN PROVINCE