The PF has blocked UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema from travelling to Kalulushi because PF leader Edgar Lungu will be arriving in Ndola, some 80 kilometres away from Kalulushi.
UPND Chairperson for Information and Publicity Charles Kakoma said in a statement that the PF leadership and the Police should stop the habit of shutting down the entire province from political opponents each time Edgar Lungu or Vice President Inonge Wina were in a particular province.
Lungu is on the Copperbelt to campaign for PF candidates in the forthcoming local government bye elections.
Below is the full statement:
20th April, 2018.
WE ARE HAPPY EDGAR TAKES TIME TO LISTEN TO HH, BUT POLICE MUST STOP SHUTTING DOWN THE WHOLE PROVINCE WHERE LUNGU GOES
By their own admission through PF Media Director Sunday Chanda, Edgar Lungu and the entire PF leadership take time to listen to the UPND President, Hakainde Hichilema, whenever he is on a radio or television programme to the extent that their activities are ‘disrupted’.
Sunday Chanda says if Hakainde Hichilema appears on radio on the Copperbelt, Edgar Lungu’s programmes will be disrupted. How?
While we are happy that they take time to listen to the voice of reason, we are disappointed that Edgar Lungu and his PF leadership are terribly bad students who don’t learn a thing.
The country would be far much better than the current mess the country is dangerously experiencing, if Edgar Lungu and his PF leadership took time and seriously implemented even a quarter of some of the sound economic and political advice the UPND President gives whenever he addresses the nation on radio and television stations.
Our appeal now is to the PF leadership and the police to stop this habit of shutting down the whole province from other political leaders whenever Edgar Lungu or Inonge Wina goes to a particular province.
Our President Hakainde Hichilema was due to travel to Kalulushi this morning but has been told not to go there because Edgar Lungu will be arriving in Ndola, some 80 kilometres away from Kalulushi. It doesn’t make sense. In other countries, opposition politicians hold meetings in the same towns where ruling party leaders stay. Julius Malema, South African opposition leader of Economic Freedom Fighters was able to hold rallies in Johannesburg when ex-President Zuma was in power. Likewise, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK is able to address his supporters in London unfettered by Prime Minister Theresa May’s security team in 10 Downing Street. We call ourselves a democracy but these actions make a mockery of the tenets of multi-party democracy, where a whole province that is 31,328 km² large is restricted to only hearing the agenda and policies of the ruling party.
It is even worse during open campaign times such as now as it disadvantages other political competitors.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia must address this situation as that was the situation even during the run up to 2016 elections.
UPND Chairperson for Information and Publicity