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Zambia is now worse than during colonial rule – HH

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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Police officers UPND

Police officers stops UPND offocials

Police officersOpposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has complained that his party has been stopped from mobilising ahead of the 2016 polls.

Hichilema says while President Edgar Lungu and his wife were busy campaigning, his party has been stopped. He says his party is slowly running out of patience.

Below is Hichilema’s statement in full:

We know many people are expecting us for party mobilisation meetings in various parts of the country.

But what we are experiencing is perhaps worse than colonial rule and we are slowly running out of patience.

Just yesterday, our Vice-President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and his delegation were met with force by armed police in Mansa and Samfya, Luapula Province, where they went for provincial party elections and mobilisation meetings in the area.

They were expecting to proceed to other areas in the province but police were demanding permits all over for our people to hold straight forward, peaceful indoor meetings.

It is clear the democratic space has been heavily restricted for us while President Edgar Lungu and his wife are busy campaigning freely all over the country.

We are aware that the PF Secretary General Davies Chama is currently enjoying a free ride in Southern Province mobilising his party and is ever on the move all over the country as well.

A number of PF MPs and Ministers have been given government resources to travel and campaign all over the country with some of their trips disguised as inspecting government projects.

This is totally unacceptable and we hope the Church, civil society organisations, and the international community are taking note of this gross violation of our rights to freely travel and meet, not only our members, but ordinary citizens as well to share our messages and continue our consultations.

It is these seemingly small things that eventually erupt because clearly our people can no longer tolerate this oppression going on.

We have no problem if Zambians reject our messages, but we have a serious issue when we cannot even be allowed to present our messages in the first place.

We are reviewing the situation, but as earlier stated we do not believe the Public Order Act can be used in this manner, especially when we are just having internal party restructuring and mobilisation meetings.

Zambia is for us all to develop and we can only do so if we fully appreciated the challenges our people are experiencing first hand.

What is also surprising and actually worrying is that those who have been given free space to loiter around the country are busy preaching all sorts of divisive and hate messages against us, while we have no room to set the record straight or be subject to questioning by our citizens.

Zambia is a democracy, but the PF is not a respecter of democratic tenets and let alone the constitution which President Lungu swore to uphold.

We know what PF expects us to break the law so that they can arrest us on flimsy grounds.

We are smarter than that. We are continuing with our mobilisation. Our members should therefore not despair.

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