People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti says Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo’s threats against a traditional leader are an indication of how morally bankrupt and divisive the Patriotic Front has become.

On Sunday, Kampyongo warned that people should not be shocked when police pounce on a traditional leader because he has been funding unrest and shall be treated as a local terrorist.

“I want to take this opportunity and out of respect that we have as Zambians for our traditional leaders, and in this case our royal highnesses, but there is one of our traditional leaders who unfortunately is engaged in these clandestine activities and is behind the funding of some of these terrorist activities of destabilizing our public installations. My warning to him is that no one is above the law and my warning to him, out of respect, our advise to him is to stop what he is doing because we are monitoring his activities very closely and the public should not be surprised if they hear us pouncing on one of our traditional leaders who has opted to engage in these wrong activities,” said Kampyongo.

But in a statement yesterday, Mulongoti said Kampyongo’s threats are meant to intimidate traditional leaders who had openly shown support towards incarcerated UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema.

“Threats by Home Affairs Minister, Steven Kampyongo, to arrest a traditional chief are an indication of how morally bankrupt and divisive the PF has become. Kampyongo’s threats are an assault on the freedom of association and meant to intimidate those chiefs that have openly shown support towards the incarcerated UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema. According to Kampyongo, the PF government is on the verge of arresting a traditional leader for funding youths to cause political unrest,” Mulongoti said.

“This careless utterance by Kampyongo is not only alarming but shows that Edgar Lungu will go any length to ensure that his dictatorial tendencies are felt in all sectors of the country. The role and value of traditional chiefs in Zambia play an indelible role. To attack one Chief because of his support against the incarceration of one of his subjects would be an insult on the entire House of Chiefs. Chiefs play a vital role in preserving Zambia’s heritage, culture and Art for sustainable development and national identity.”

Mulongoti urged President Lungu to emulate the colonial masters in finding an amicable way of working with our chiefs instead of antagonizing them.

“We as People’s Party, urge Edgar Lungu to emulate the colonial masters in finding an amicable way of working with our chiefs, rather than using a hostile Home Affairs Minister to antagonize them. Lungu, Kampyongo and the entire PF should bear in mind that these chiefs preside over large chiefdoms with thousands of subjects. Arresting one of them would certainly pit the government against the chiefs subjects. This would be extremely undesirable. We urge the PF not to politicize and pick fights with everyone. This country belongs to all its residents. Keep your soiled hands away from our traditional authorities,” said Mulongoti.