We the Royal Highnesses wish to express our disappointment and dismay over the raiding of the house and arrest of Mr. Hichilema who we consider as our son, say Southern Province chiefs.
In a statement read by chief Mukuni after they were denied passage to visit the incarcerated UPND leader yesterday, the traditional leaders petitioned government to release HH unconditionally.
The traditional leaders who travelled to Lusaka to demand the release of HH include Chief Macha, Chief Mukuni, Chief Chikanta, Chief Shakumbila, Chief Hamusonde and Chief Monze.
Other’s are Chief Mukobela, Chieftainess Mwenda, Chief Chona, Chief Ishima, Chief Mwenda, Chief Mwenekandala, Chief Moono and Chief Chibuluma.
“The Police must take full responsibility for this action. We therefore demand the dropping of all charges against him and that he must be released immediately and unconditionally as these charges have no merit at law. Besides he is not well and needs to be taken to a hospital of his choice. Should this not take place and something happens to him, Mr Lungu and his government will bear full responsibility,” said chief Mukuni at HH’s house where the traditional leaders went to console his wife Mutinta.
“What we notice is a system of selective justice by the police where the opposition, independent media and other civil society organisations with dissenting views are criminalized while ruling party offenders are left scot free.”
The traditional leaders lamented that the judicial system had failed to bring about justice in Zambia.
“We call for an end to intimidation and arrests of all dissenting voices including opposition leaders and their members. The judicial system has failed the people of Zambia,” read the statement.
“We have arrived at these conclusions for the following reasons: In 2012, Known cadres in Ndola attacked Mr. Hichilema who had to flee from the radio station through the roof. Perpetrators of this attack have not been apprehended to date. In 2015, Patriotic Front cadres threw stones at the helicopter carrying Mr. Hichilema’s presidential campaign team in Shiwang’andu. The same was repeated in 2016 when the same cadres attempted to burn the helicopter on the ground. The member of parliament who led the attack was thereby rewarded with the position of Home Affairs Minister.”
The traditional leaders claimed that HH had survived several assassination attempts.
“In 2016, ruling party cadres attempted to kill Mr. Hichilema at Moba Hotel in Kitwe and UPND security disarmed them and reported the matter to police. There has been no police action to date. On 8th July 2016, Davis Chama shot an innocent citizen in Mulobezi and he has since been rewarded with the position of Defense Minister. Boswell Nomuswa (correct surname is Namuswa), Officer Commanding, Lusaka Province, shot a UPND member at the high court and has never been reprimanded and now is in charge of most police operations such as the blocking of the UPND press conference at Chainama hotel and the raid at Hichilema’s residence last Sunday,” chief Mukuni said.
He said HH must be released unconditionally and officers responsible for aggravated robbery at his house be brought to book.
“The killers of Mapenzi Chibulo, a UPND member in the 2016 election campaigns have not been apprehended up to now. As custodians of peace and tradition, and leaders of the 15 million Zambians we are duty bound to call for law and order, peace, unity and stability in the country and we therefore demand that: Our son Mr. Hichilema must be released forthwith and those responsible for aggravated robbery at his residence be brought to book by the police command, we demand that Mr Hichilema be availed urgent medical care and if his health deteriorates any further, Mr Lungu and his government will be held responsible,” said chief Mukuni.
“Let the Petition be heard and moved to ICC so that tensions and regional divisions are thereby resolved. Ethnic insults and ridicule as expressed clearly by PF leaders, Davis Chama, Mumbi Phiri, Chishimba Kambwili, Frank Bwalya, Bowman Lusambo and others must be criminalised and ended forthwith.”