*PF GASSING SCHEME IS AIMED AT REMOVING HH FROM THE 2021 BALLOT BY PF -BANDA*
THE ON-GOING gassing is a well-planned scheme by the Patriotic Front aimed at eliminating President Hakainde Hichilema from the 2021 ballot paper, says UPND National Trustee, Andrew Banda.
Speaking during a press briefing at the party secretariat this morning, Mr Banda stated that desperation by the PF to hold on to power has led the ruling party to hatch a scheme that would ensure that President Hichilema’s candidature for 2021 is eliminated.
Mr Banda observes that the PF fear Mr Hichilema for his uprightness and truthful leadership giving them sleepless nights, hence the scheme to bar him from being the UPND’s Presidential candidate in 2021.
“The aim of this scheme is to eliminate their political opponents from the 2021 ballot and the only opponent that the PF fears is Mr Hichilema, who is leading the UPND being the alternative government for the people of Zambia. When politicians in the ruling party get desperate, they use all kinds of schemes to eliminate their opponents,” said Mr Banda.
And quoting former Nigerian ‘Military’ President, General Sani Abacha, Mr Banda said that the failure by security wings to curb the gassing incidences was a sign that the government was involved.
*“When there is insecurity in the country for over 24 hours, then you must know that the State is involved;”* emphasized Mr Banda as he quoted General Abacha.
He said the evidence of previous regimes’ schemes to eliminate their political opponents was justification enough that the PF was trying to follow the same route of plain cowardice.
“Since Zambia’s independence 55 years ago, there has been incidences where past regimes have concocted a number of schemes aimed at silencing their political opponents and the first one was code named the *‘Black Mamba”* by the United National Independence Party (UNIP). This was followed by a similar scheme called the *’Zero Option’* by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) which led to the arrest and imprisonment of a number of political figures who were opposed to the two regimes,” he said.
Mr Banda also wondered why no gassing suspects who have been arrested have been tried in the courts of law since the on-going gassing incidences started in Chingola, Copperbelt province a couple of months ago.
“We are worried at the rate at which these investigations are going. If they have arrested people who are involved in the gassing, by law, they are supposed to be taken to court within 48 hours. But why have they kept them for over 2 months without trial?
A few weeks ago, Deputy Inspector General – Operations, Bonnie Kapeso told the nation that a number of suspects were arrested and that the Police had gotten hold of the substance being used to spray people. Surprisingly, the Police has refused to reveal the name of the substance for fear of jeopardizing investigations,” said Mr Banda.
He said a situation where residents in shanty townships where soldiers have been dispatched to quell the gassing incidents where cheering military personnel was a sign that the leadership has lost control.
“(As a ruling party) immediately you see the military on the streets, just know that you are quoting trouble. When the Police are going round these compounds, they are being booed, but when they see the Army, they start cheering them, that is a sign that the public has lost confidence in the Police. For me, this sends a signal that the PF leadership has lost control of managing the affairs of this country,” he said.
Ambassador Banda has since warned that this scheme to attempt to bar President Hichilema from taking part in 2021 general elections would not work, saying such a scheme have potential to cause serious internal conflict.
*UPND MEDIA TEAM*