Opposition political parties have appealed to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to fund “illegalities and people who will use their resources recklessly”.

Nevers Mumba, Mike Mulongoti and Charles Milupi of MMD, People’s Party and Alliance for Democracy and Development respectively, were speaking at a joint press briefing in Lusaka yesterday after their alliance partner Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development was transferred from Lusaka Central Prison to Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe.

“We also appeal to the IMF and the World Bank in their effort to help us as they come to this country in July or whenever, we asking them not only to listen to the government. Come and talk to us as opposition leaders and listen to us on the issues of governance so that they can feel the pain and anguish of the Zambian people. Don’t fund illegalities and people that are going to use that money on their personal trips outside this country and we have never a President who travels as much as this President,” Mumba said.

Mumba also asked other Heads of State to shun President Edgar Lungu’s invitations to visit Zambia during this period saying they would be endorsing dictatorship.

“We are asking the international community to stand with Zambian people during this very very dark moment. Zambia is in a crisis politically and has slide into a dictatorship under the leadership of President Lungu and this is not just a statement we are making because we are opposition political parties but it is a fact which is going to affect everything that we aspire for if we don’t stop the dictatorship. As you are aware today in this country we are not supposed to have any kind of meeting as political parties without the brutality of the police coming into play and we are called a democracy,” Mumba said.

“Just two days ago, Mr Amos Chanda from State House made a statement where he was saying the coming of the Madacascar Preesident, the impending visits of the Ghanaian president and the Rwandan president is a confirmation that the international community is happy with the manner in which this government is oppressing the people of this country. So we are asking the Presidents in the region to support the Zambian people by suspending their trips, so that they give us time to fight as a people for our freedoms. We ask them to use their resources that they could have used to fly here to push and apply pressure on President Lungu and his people to let the people of Zambia enjoy their freedoms and concentrate on what matters because by their continued visits, the Presidents are endorsing what should never be endorsed even when they don’t mean to endorse and a lot of them are coming in good faith by way but not knowing that it’s trap and president Lungu is inviting those who have been legitimately elected.”

And Milupi said government must stop abusing the military to fight their battles.

“This morning we were hit with the news that the State in the usual manner has decided to move the President of UPND who is incarcerated together with his five other colleagues to Mukobeko and we are disgusted with this news because it’s a further demonstration of how this government considers itself to be above the law in the manner they take certain actions,” said Milupi.

“We also want to caution this government to stop abusing the Military personnel of this country because we are aware that they used a ZAF aircraft to transfer the accused people to Mukobeko in Kabwe, which is an illegality. There is no need for government to start using the country’s resources to fight against its own citizens. And I want Zambians to understand very clearly that the issues that have let HH and his co-accused go to prison and be charged with treason is because they were fighting for this country.”

Meanwhile, Mulongoti said moving HH and his co-accused was just a scheme to keep him away from his family and his legal team.

“It is wrong for the state to start using this period to punish and brutalise Hichilema’s family, it is already bad that he incarcerated but taking him to Mukobeko is just a scheme to keep him away from his family and his lawyers which should not be allowed. Moreover, there are so many issues that the government should focus on right now that to just shift their whole attention to one individual,” said Mulongoti.