The United Party for National Development has finally distanced itself from a spate of arson activities that have dominated current affairs in Zambia following the arrest of party leader Hakainde Hichilema.

And UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango today told journalists that President Edgar Lungu cannot threaten citizens that he will declare a state of emergency because Zambians are already living in a state of emergency.

Nalumango said PF was behind the spate of fires in the country.

“Everything that is happening in this country today is towards the PF goal of achieving a one party state. The incarceration of the UPND president and the mass arrests of UPND supporters are all part of this scheme. We have enough reason to believe that these fires are being orchestrated by the PF so as to wrongly implicate the UPND,” Nalumango said.

“There are several criminal activities committed by PF members, sometimes in full view of the police, but these have been ignored. Zambians have seen machete-wielding PF cadres on TV and these have not been arrested because they are way above the law.”

She said the UPND was a peaceful party.

“UPND is a peaceful party whose members adhere to party directives. We are a law-abiding party. That is why even after the disputed elections, we went to court, we didn’t go to the streets. We are not a bunch of clueless people who can walk into the streets with machetes, beating and insulting people. That is not UPND. Our mission and vision are very clear; we want a better Zambia for all, not just for UPND,” Nalumango said as UPND supporters applauded her remarks.

“So how can we start burning the tools we need to liberate this country? How can we start burning the markets? In whose interest, other than in the interest of those who want to declare a state of emergency?”

She urged citizens to wake up and realise that the PF government was a danger to their human rights.

“Let me take advantage of this press briefing to remind the Zambians that we are all in danger of these PF. Zambians must understand that when someone threatens a state of emergency, that simply means losing your human rights. Rights that you were born with; the right to assemble, the right of expression, all the rights that you are aware of will go down the drain,” she said.

Nalumango however warned that the PF would suffer under the state of emergency.

“Let me state here that when that happens, the real people who will feel the effect are the PF, because for us we live already in the state of emergency. We can’t assemble, we can’t walk freely, when we talk it’s an insult. So we have already tested a piece of the state of emergency, so that is why we are saying it should not be allowed. Zambia must go forward and Zambia will go forward,” Nalumango declared as her supporters cheered.

“These PF are the people who have peddled lies, planned murder, arrests, and have come back to dupe you with bibles. I also want to state that whatever you do, God is watching. Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 8 says if you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. God is watching and he is higher and a great ruler. You cannot dupe people using the bible.”

She recalled that the arrest of HH was done under orders PF officials.

“Who did not hear Mumbi Phiri lambast the police for failing to arrest HH? Did you not hear her on TV ordering to smoke HH out like a rat? What happened the following day, HH was indeed smoked out in a shameful manner that has left the world shocked,” Nalumango said.

“These accusations of arson are just a smoke screen, meant to divert people’s attention from their brutality and extreme abuse of human rights. The PF and their Edgar Lungu are lost at sea; they don’t know what to do with the mess they have created in the country. So to address their economic incompetence, they silence the media and the opposition. To cover their corruption and poor governance, they abuse the police.”

She said Zambians were finally seeing through the lies of the PF.

“People are beginning to see through their lies and they are beginning to demand fulfillment of the PF campaign promises. And what is the PF promising now, a state of emergency. Zambians, we are in trouble if we do not work together to demand the Zambia we want,” Nalumango said.

“Instead of being objective and professional when conducting investigations, the police have now become partisan. Referring to the recent reports on the alleged attempts to burn a bus at Intercity and the stubbing of a bus driver at UTH, they were strategically aimed at painting the UPND black. Since when did the police conclude based on assertions without proper facts? UPND is not responsible for the fires. Our message to the general membership of the party across the country is to remain calm. We are watching what is going on.”