Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo says President Edgar Lungu should demonstrate his true Christianity by visiting treason accused Hakainde Hichilema in prison.

In a statement today, Tembo observed that political rivals were not enemies and as such, the Head of State should demonstrate the true values of a Christian Nation by visiting HH.

“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we have noted with regret that ever since Mr Hakainde Hichilema was incarcerated about two months ago on alleged treason charges, President Edgar Lungu has to date not yet visited Mr Hichilema in prison. It is for this reason that we would like President Lungu to take some time out of his busy schedule to go and pay a visit to Mr Hichilema at Lusaka Central prison in his personal capacity. It is worth noting that as a Christian nation, we are merely political rivals and not enemies,” Tembo said.

“We wish to further emphasize that true Christianity is founded on compassion, and brotherliness towards one another. In the absence of these basic attributes of compassion and love for one another, it is difficult to justify the claim of being a Christian even if one pioneered the establishment of a Ministry of Religion or the construction of a National Tabernacle of Prayer.”

Tembo said by staying away from visiting HH in prison, President Lungu was giving an impression that he was his enemy.

“By staying away from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison, President Lungu is giving an impression that Mr Hichilema is his enemy. As Patriots for Economic Progress, it is our strong belief that if President Lungu decided to visit Mr Hichilema in prison, such a gesture cannot amount to interfering with the dual process of the law,” he said.

Tembo also said visiting HH would prove that the charges against him were not politically motivated.

“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we are hopeful that President Edgar Lungu will demonstrate that the treason charge against Mr Hakainde Hichilema is not politically motivated and an abuse of state institutions to settle political scores. One way of demonstrating that is by President Lungu visiting Mr Hichilema in prison and offering any assistance to his family in his time of need. As PeP, we believe that the history of this country is reprint with the examples of compassion and love between political rivals. A case in point is the incident that took place when then opposition leader Mr Michael Sata was quickly evacuated to South Africa for medical attention by then president Levy Mwanawasa despite their political rivalry that existed between the two men. This event demonstrated that despite our political differences, we are first and foremost citizenry brothers before we are political opponents. We look forward to a timely gesture from President Lungu in this regard,” said Tembo.