Zambians should continue to resist UPND desire for a blood bath – PF

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President Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina arrive during the PF Women Fundraising Breakfast at InterContinental Hotel in Lusaka on Saturday, February 2016 – Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) says the opposition UPND has continued pushing for a blood bath.

Commenting on the UPND stance that it will defend itself once attacked by PF, the ruling party says Zambians should reject the move by the opposition.

Below is the statement.

Lusaka, Sunday 8 July 2018 – 
From time in opposition, the Patriotic Front (PF) has believed that the only way of wining people over is making them partners and not tools of violence. The PF is proud to state that its major stakeholder are the people and that is why, its leadership repeatedly issue warning to anyone threatening the peace, security and wellbeing of other citizens through violence.

We have publicly acknowledged and repudiated our members that have responded violently to provocation. This is because, violence in whatever form goes contrary to the values of the party. Our party leadership have taken a lead in discouraging the membership to settle for violence as an option.

In September 2006, our founding President, Michael Chilufya Sata demonstrated the party’s non-violence stance when he magnanimously appealed to incensed party members who disputed the re-election of late President Levy Mwanawasa. Despite his own anger after feeling robbed, President Sata, did not want to put any Zambian citizen in harm’s way.

As though drawing inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s 1 February 1975 letter to his then wife, Winnie that read in part;
*”Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”*

The people and PF won elections against all odds without begging people to be violent but through hope, determination, and genuine partnership with the people and trying repeatedly.

In 2015, after being declared President of the Republic of Zambia, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in keeping with the principles of the Patriotic Front, did implore the PF members to desist from violence. The Republican President has made repeated calls against political violence, which calls have been repeated by the entire top leadership of the party. Not only has the party, issued statements, we have gone as far as disowning any party members that have engaged in any form of violence, with the law taking its course.

This is however, contrary to the United Party for National Development (UPND) whose leaders have been in the forefront of inciting its members to fight at every turn. It is clear from their behaviour, that they have runout of ideas of taking on power after recurrent rejections.

The patriotic Front has done exceptionally well in all by-elections held in 2018, penetrating many of the UPND strongholds. This is making the opposition party become delusional to the point of seeking violence over developmental messages to the electorate.

Sensing the danger of a loss in Chilanga, their vice President, issued an unprovoked decree of ‘panga-for-panga’ and that became the UPND’s campaign strategy, tool and message. The result is there for people to see- they lost the seat, thanks to the people of Chilanga who chose partnership over mayhem. No sooner did the ECZ announce the nomination date for the filling in of nominations for Mayoral candidates, than we heard the UPND party president issue the same statement. This time under the banner of urging his members to defend themselves.

The ‘defend yourselves’ statement has been repeated over-and-over again within the rank and file of the UPND with the most recent being by its spokesperson Charles Kakoma on Saturday 7th of July, 2018.

Mr. Kakoma, went further to justify his point by quoting the constitution and other sources. However, one question still remain begs the answer, which provocation has the UPND suffered to want this constant order for its members to pick up arms? To the best of our knowledge, there has not been any provocation from the Patriotic Front to the UPND or any other political party to that matter. As a party, we have continued canvassing for mayoral votes by sharing our vision for Lusaka to our partners- the electorate. We are not wasting our time inviting people to enroll for a militia to take part in an imaginary war like our colleagues are doing.

The people of Zambia in general and Lusaka in particular will agree with us that no one political party has had his or her freedoms curtailed. We have seen all political party candidates including the UPND campaigning without any form of harassment. Of course, while other candidates and political parties have been sharing what they will do for the city, we have seen photos of the UPND photo sessions in restaurants and the street. While they are not marketing their candidate, their party president, has been enjoying celebrity status unscarred by anyone.

It therefore, is worrying that UPND is being allowed to continue alarming the nation about violence and yet the church and NGOs are quite. Why is every well-meaning institution allowing this political party to keep instilling fear in the mind of the electorate in Lusaka with this call for violence without any due cause. It should always be borne in mind that alarmist statements of politicians are attributed to most of the instabilities in the world, sub-Sahara Africa being among the worst hit.

Zambia is currently hosting over 20,000 refugees with the number increasing by the day due to conflict in the neighboring country. We cannot allow, greedy people who have failed to take power through the normal way of using the ballot lead the country into the fire.

We urge, journalists who themselves have been on the constant receiving end of UPND’s violent behaviour to boldly join in exposing this scheme of inciting for a blood bath in Zambia.

Nelson Mandela also said;
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people”.

Alas, what we are seeing are leaders of the opposition calling the innocent and poor people to pay the ultimate price of death, so that they can go to State House.

We in patriotic front we agree with the Founding father of the nation, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda when he says: 
“The moment you have protected an individual, you have protected society.”

Therefore, the Patriotic Front will continue to call for protection of every citizen of Zambia from being caught up in the unnecessary skirmishes by standing up against violence regardless of whoever is inciting and perpetrating it.

Issued by:

Sunday Chanda 
PF Media Director
PARTY HEADQUARTERS

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