UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema made a grand entry into Kitwe Wednesday afternoon. Despite attempts by ruling party supporters to foil his meeting, he addressed scores of people at the Show Grounds.
HH told Kitwe that ‘our people need hope for jobs and better lives. We are greatly humbled with the reception. Let’s stick to real issues affecting our people.’
That was hours before PF cadres disrupted his scheduled interview at radio Ichengelo.
Later in the evening, PF thugs blocked Radio Ichengelo in Kitwe where Hakainde Hichilema was set to speak.
HH and team were forced to return to their hotel. PF thugs followed and surrounded the hotel. Police fired tear gas canisters as PF thugs started stoning vehicles.
A Movie TV journalist was severely beaten up.
Meanwhile, UPND Vice-president Canisius Banda issued the following statement:
The PF [Patriotic Front – Zambia’s ruling party] need to know that Zambia is more than them.
The PF need to know that what keeps Zambia united and peaceful is NOT the PF alone but all of us Zambia’s citizens acting collectively.
They must also know that unity and peace are prerequisites for national development.
It is very sad that today both economically, and in terms of political governance, the only political group that threatens unity and peace in our country is the PF, the ruling party at present itself.
We urge President Edgar Lungu to uphold our Republican Constitution by ensuring, using the instruments of power given to him by the people, that all citizens enjoy their freedoms and rights.
This is the only way Zambia will remain one nation. Barring this, we risk disintegration.
President Hakainde Hichilema, a free citizen, is presently having his freedoms and rights blatantly and callously denied and flouted.
PF members, bent on shedding his blood, today trailed Hakainde Hichilema on the Coppperbelt with a myiad of lethal weapons.
This is utterly unthinkable and unacceptable in a democracy. It is also at variance with common decency and morality.
Further, these PF members barred Hakainde Hichilema from appearing on Radio Icengelo.
As we speak right now [15 July 2015; 20:46 hours], these PF members have smashed the gate to Moba Hotel and, as if possessed with demons, are looking for Hakainde Hichilema so that they can harm him.
President Lungu stop this; and stop it NOW!
That the UPND is gaining ground on the Coppperbelt and in other parts of the country should be a reason for both reflection and joy for President Lungu and his followers.
Joy, because it means that democracy is growing, thriving and maturing in our country.
Reflection, because it a window for introspection by the PF to learn why this is happening, an opportunity for political awakening.
Note that he who destroys through the sword, he too shall be destroyed by the sword.
Today, it is Hakainde Hichilema’s freedoms of assembly, movement, speech and expression being grossly violated. Tomorrow it will be Edith Nawakwi’s, Nevers Mumba’s, Peter Sinkamba’s, Eric Chanda’s, Elias Chipimo’s.
Tomorrow, it will be my freedom and yours, fellow citizen!
Let us all condemn this barbarism and criminality that is today’s PF lest our nation falls apart! Let us collectively and firmly nip this vice in the bud!
President Lungu, leave HH and UPND alone! Secure Zambia!
President Lungu, it is by securing other citizens that you will also secure yourself.
Aluta continua! The struggle will continue!
Dr Canisius BANDA
UPND Vice President