UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has maintained that political independence has lost meaning to the majority of Zambians because they are economically dependent or completely marginalised.
Hichilema says there is nothing to ‘dine and wine’ for because most Zambians can’t even afford the wine.
Hichilema was reacting to incessant condemnations from president Sata, his ministers and shoe cleaners over his earlier statement that Zambians should shun uhuru because there is nothing to celebrate for.
Sata and his officials, who have every reason to celebrate because they increased their salaries last week and are getting free expensive food, accused Hichilema of insulting freedom fighters.
But Hichilema said it is Sata and his friends who are insulting freedom Fighters by making independence meaningless for the majority of Zambians through their poor leadership which is making the poor poorer.
Hichilema said if genuine freedom fighters, who died during the struggle woke up, they would cry to see how Sata and his colleagues are messing up the once properous country.
Hichilema said the freedom fighters wanted complete political and economic independence for all Zambians unlike what is happening now where there is independence for a few people only.
He said it does not make sense to condemn white colonialist when you are doing the same things they did to the majority of citizens.
Hichilema said the colour of the oppressor does not matter because whether he is black or white, the suffering he causes is the same.
Hichilema appealed to Zambians to use Independence Day to reflect on what has gone wrong with the country and think of how to move forward.
“It is not a boycott; it is refusing to celebrate, wine and dine when Zambians cannot even afford mealie-meal. It is a protest not a boycott. Which party member does not understand the suffering? If a particular party member goes there, that is their decision… I am not only calling on UPND party members, I am calling on Zambians. What is there to celebrate when your children are out of school? No ARVs in hospitals, but the by-election money is there. Money for judge Chikopa is there; money for technical committee on drafting of the constitution is there,” said Hichilema.