Alliance for Community Action (ACA) Executive Director Laura Miti says it was illogical for President Edgar Lungu to base the Threatened State of Emergency declaration on the recent fires, instead of basing it on the lack of intolerance between the PF and UPND cadres.
And Miti says President Lungu is not helping Zambians to get out of the election mode by consistently talking about Hakainde Hichilema’s election defeat whenever he is addressing the public.
She said this when she featured on MUVI TV’s Assignment yesterday.
“If this invocation had happened away from the fire, and to talk about the level of intolerant between the parties, I would have understood where it was coming from. I have asked so many times ‘Who is arming the PF cadres?’ Who pays for their transport? Its obviously not themselves, there is someone within the system who is funding them,” Miti observed.
“The President should have used that term to say that ‘we would like to disarm all political cadres across the board…’ we do not want to see PF cadres driving on the wrong side of the road, it is extremely worrying for the President of this whole country to totally ignore that. It is for that reason that I think the premise on this evocation of this Article 31 was wrong. Why is it that the President does not speak about the PF violence that we all see?”
Miti stressed the need for President Lungu to acknowledge the violence perpetuated by PF cadres before condemning the opposition.
“What worries me most about this invocation is that while speaking about the fire and while essentially placing the fire and the tension, the degeneration of the country’s security on the shoulders of the UPND, he neglected to speak about the PF completely. Not too long ago, we had the memorial park case of violence. Just before Mongu, we had the Kanyama UPND rally and just before that, PF youth Chairperson Kennedy Kamba stood up and said ‘if that rally goes ahead, there will be consequences’. In fact I think he said blood will flow. We have seen PF cadres match with pangas but if you are to listen to President Edgar Lungu, the PF is made up of Angel Gabriel, Mother Theresa, the Pope. These guys are squeaky clean, its the entire industry of perfection,” Miti observed.
“What would have been better for the President to say would have been to say ‘we are seating at a time in which we have got tension from two sides, we have PF cadres fighting UPND,’ he needs to acknowledge what is happening in his own party. But I think that not too long ago again we heard Secretary General of PF Davis Mwila who was caught on camera saying some really dangerous things in Kabwe and the President is saying I cant fire him.”
She said it was President Lungu’s responsibility to take Zambians out of the electoral mode by stopping talking about Hichilema.
“The person who is responsible for taking us further is the person who is sitting at State House, it is not HH. It is not HH’s lack of recognition that brings us to this state, it is the President being bothered by HH’s lack of recognition. The President was sworn-in, once he was sworn-in he became Head of State, no matter what HH says, the President of this country is Edgar Chagwa Lungu. It is therefore Edgar Lungu’s responsibility to take us out of this electoral environment, to stop talking about HH, to stop worrying about him, to give him space to be an opposition leader,” said Miti.