THE OPPOSITION has called for the arrest of PF secretary general Davies Mwila for inciting cadres to unlawfully share land amongst them and to take over the running of markets and bus stations in the country.

On Tuesday, Mwila met PF officials in Kabwe and told them that they had the power to share land amongst themselves before advertising the rest.

Mwila also castigated them for failing to take over the running of bus stations in the town.

But in a statement released today, January 19, 2017, FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza demanded that Mwila be arrested for inciting lawlessness and civil disorder in the country.

“The police have in their possession the audio and video evidence of what Mr. Mwila said and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to be dragging their feet. This thuggish behaviour must be punished as it is criminal and a recipe for civil disorder,” Mwanza stated.

He observed that Mwila’s sentiments were capable of threatening the country’s peace and stability because they were seditious.

“The statement made by PF secretary general Davies Mwila instructing cadres to forcibly take over the running of markets and bus stations is a criminal statement that borders on sedition and inciting lawlessness and subversion of authority and it is a recipe for anarchy, public nuisance and a serious threat to the peace and stability of our country,” Mwanza stated.

“Sections 57, 92 and 101 of Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia clearly states that any person who utters any seditious words (Sedition, being the organised incitement of civil disorder against authority, herein being the Local Authority, which is the Authority mandated by the Republican Constitution to manage and run markets and bus stations) is guilty and liable to imprisonment for two years or to a fine not exceeding three thousand penalty units or both. Any person who excites disaffection against or undermines lawful authority is liable for criminal prosecution. Inciting lawlessness is a criminal offence that attracts a jail sentence,” Mwanza stated.

Mwanza further stated that markets and bus stations were public places and one did not need to be a member of the ruling party to conduct business from there.

“First of all Davies Mwila must understand that markets, bus stations and taxi ranks are public places and every citizen has the right to trade or to business within these premises regardless of one’s political affiliation. Markets, bus stations and taxi ranks are not a property of the PF, they are public property therefore it is illegal and totally unacceptable for anyone to try to force members of the opposition out of these places. Mwila has just confirmed what we already know that PF cadres and officials have forcibly taken over the running of markets and bus stations from the Lusaka City Council here in Lusaka and that these cadres and officials are actually extorting money from struggling marketeers and bus drivers operating in our markets,” stated Mwanza.

“We have written to the ministry of local government complaining about this criminal behaviour but nothing has been done because this is part of the PF machinery and strategy: the use of thuggery and vigilantism to intimidate and control masses. This is part of the PF strategy to enrich a few PF cadres and officials through illegal collection of money from markets and bus stations as well as the illegal land allocation.”

And UPND spokesperson Stephen Kutuka, in a separate statement, noted that it was irresponsible and immoral for the PF leadership to instruct ‘thugs’ to take charge of the markets and bus stops.

“The move is not irresponsible and immoral, but it is also a recipe for anarchy which has been the source of violence in the country as none PF members, who are equally Zambian citizens, are openly physically harassed, including being stripped naked for being suspected of belonging to an opposition party. It is national monumental tragedy of corruption of the worst kind for Davies Mwila to instruct PF controlled councils to deceive and defraud the public by advertising availability of plots but in actual fact reserve such plots for PF cadres,” Katuka stated.

Katuka stated that Mwila’s sentiments exposed President Lungu’s hypocrisy.

“Mwila’s statements exposes Mr. Edgar Lungu’s hypocrisy who recently pretended to be directing his thugs to refrain from harassing innocent citizens from markets and bus stations. It is a shame for a man who once saved as Home Affairs Minister and part of the team of the legislature who passed the markets and bus stations Act to ignore what was passed as Law. This goes to show what leadership the PF has and their approach to serious national issues,” Katuka stated.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia acting executive director Wesley Chibamba is shocked by Mwila’s advice to the cadres and governance activist McDonald Chipenzi also saisd Mwila’s sentiment should be condemned in the strongest terms.