BRIGADIER General Godfrey Miyanda has challenged Edgar Lungu to stop crying wolf and produce evidence to his claims that the UPND is behind the burning of markets in Lusaka.
In an interview, Brig Gen Miyanda, who is former Republican vice-president, said president Lungu spread rumours that the burning of Bauleni Market in Lusaka in the early hours of August 23 was done by Hakainde Hichilema’s UPND, which was not true.
“He alleged that this is the promised Armageddon. Speaking for myself, I cannot believe the president-elect’s claims until he confirms that he will be a willing witness and be ready to testify under oath while holding the Holy Christian Bible,” Brig Gen Miyanda said.
“I say so because prior to these latest fires and before the elections, we had several incidents of fires in markets in Lusaka, Copperbelt and other parts of the country.
A number of these incidents were reported by our Muvi television. At that time there, was no mention of UPND, Tongas or any other tribe. It was reported that either the owner of a shop left a candle carelessly or there was a load-shedding-related fire outbreak. But now suddenly we are being told that these fires are being started by Tonga people. I do not believe him and suspect that he is merely crying Wolf, Wolf and Wolf!”
He said lies following the inevitable collapse of the Referendum and the accompanying hate messages against one tribe and one candidate were not justified and must be stopped forthwith.
And Brig Gen Miyanda has asked president Lungu to remove the unconstitutional ban on Muvi TV, Komboni and Itezhi-tezhi radios as well as The Post newspapers.
He said president Lungu was spreading rumours that needed to be verified through the media the government had shut down, adding that the Independent Broadcasting Authority was interfering with people’s right to receive ideas and information which could be imparted through their favourite media.
“From now on each time he makes his allegations, we shall first ask Muvi and the other stations as well as The Post to verify and authenticate his claims,” Brig Gen Miyanda said.
He urged Muvi TV viewers to demand their subscription fee refunds from the government.
“I call on all affected citizens to consider making claims against the government to refund our subscriptions because it is not Muvi TV’s fault. I hear that some citizens are advising Muvi not to seek legal redress but go cap in hand on bent knees to beg the powers that be. I say to Muvi, this is a matter of life or death for you and your staff; it is not just about the licence,” Brig Gen Miyanda advised.
“While the complaint is against the withdrawal of the licence, the breach goes beyond just a licence because the act is a breach of Article 21 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia. Those Zambians who have been rejoicing at the closure of The Post and Muvi, Komboni and Itezhi-tezhi radios do not mean well for Zambia.”
He wondered how the PF expected people to support the updated Bill of Rights when the ruling party was disrespecting what was contained in the current Bill of Rights.
“I ask the question again and again: how do you promote and protect a right that does not exist but rejoice when an existing right is trashed by the government?” asked Brig Gen Miyanda.
“See here, Article 21 (1) which survived the Referendum vote, quoted verbatim ‘Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to impart and communicate ideas and information without interference, whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons, and freedom from interference with his correspondence’. This is one of the rights already in Part III of the Constitution of Zambia and was there before the Referendum was held!”