The Patriotic Front says there is an international cartel led by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, which is bent on giving Zambia a bad name following the arrest of Hakainde Hichilema.

In a statement to discredit Obasanjo’s article published by the Rand Daily Mail of South Africa, which trivialised the treason charge leveled against HH, PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri accused the Ex-Nigerian military ruler’s regime of killing civilians.

“We appreciate the role General Olusegun Obasanjo is trying to play as an elderly African statesman in discussing the political developments in Zambia. Sometimes, however, we feel he is trying too much, especially when it comes to the seemingly hapless but nevertheless reckless comments he keeps making regarding the on-going trial of Hakainde Hichilema,” Mumbi stated yesterday.

“In a bid to be relevant and to continue getting paid, Mr Obasanjo, has been making all manner of poisonous statements on Zambia. If you were not in Zambia today, you would think the serene Southern African nation was on fire based on the inflammatory statements coming out of Mr Obasanjo and his boss Greg Mills, the head of the Oppenheimer financed Brenthurst Foundation.”

Mumbi went on to discredit Brenthurst Foundation, a Johannesburg-based think-tank established by the Oppenheimer family to help source funds for African developments.

“Critical questions for the reader: who heads the Foundation? What sort of relationship does he (Obasanjo) have with Hichilema? Was he in Zambia before the last elections? What kind of services did he offer to the UPND leader? Answering these questions will reveal why this cartel is bent on giving Zambia a bad name!” she exclaimed.

“We all know how the Oppeinhermer’s made their money in South Africa under the apartheid regime—money from diamonds as 80 percent of black South Africans died in poverty and remain poor today. The oppeinheimer’s swim in stupendous wealth today as they bankroll the Brenthurst Foundation through former military leader Obasanjo and Mills to make it appear as though Zambia is on fire.”

She accused Obasanjo’s regime of causing the death of Fela Kuti’s family members.

“Mr Obasanjo was once accused of being responsible for political repression in Nigeria. In one particular recorded instance, the compound of Nigerian immensely famous musician and political activist Fela Kuti was raided and gutted to the ground after a member of his commune was involved in an altercation with military personnel. Mr Fela, the late and his family especially female family members were beaten and raped, and his mother was killed by being thrown from a window. This happened under Gen Obasanjo,” Mumbi stated.

“As a party, we are tired of reading distortions in the international press skewed at making us look bad. From now on, every lie told about us shall be countered with the harsh truth of those peddling the lies. Stop telling lies about Zambia and President Lungu; we shall stop telling the truth about you too!

In an article co-authored with Greg Mills Obasanjo wrote: “The Zambian government has recently jailed the leader of the opposition, Hakainde Hichilema, on treason charges. The catalyst was a traffic incident involving rival motorcades. The stage to this extreme action was however set earlier with a contested election result in August 2016. These specific events also indicate a deeper malaise in the absence of a system of government which encourages a loyal opposition, a system of government whereby oppositions can oppose the actions of an executive even though their loyalty to the source of the government’s power is unquestioned.”