Mazabuka Central UPND Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo says the declaration of a Threatened State of Emergency was an act of cowardice and must be revoked immediately.

In an interview with News Diggers! yesterday, Nkombo hailed Civil Society Organisations (CSO)s for petitioning the National Assembly to revoke the Threatened State of Public Emergency saying there was no need for its continued existence.

“The CSOs could not have petitioned at a better time than now, I am saying so is because to us the invocation of that Article 31 was an act of cowardice on the part of the executive and the President himself. There is a state of mind which is called the fear of the unknown and this is what has grieved PF and why I am saying the petition by CSOs could not have come at a better time is because it is actually true that there is no need for its continued existence,” Nkombo said.

“And so the CSOs are 100 per cent right that Parliament should do self introspection, they must think through themselves especially those who were there at the time when the invocation was approved by the House of representatives. Parliament is a house of laws and it should not be used to diminish the democratic space for other political players. So that invocation should be removed forthwith.”

Nkombo said there was need to normalize things in the country in view of calls for dialogue.

“That invocation has a life span which is 90 days and the 90 days will soon be up but really again it’s a question of self introspection on the part of Mr Edgar Lungu and his team to say whether this country is really at threat or not but as far as I am concerned, I think that the truth has no disguise and so you cannot disguise it and it will germinate even on the hardest concrete so they must face themselves and bring this society back to normal especially that there is this desire for everyone to dialogue,” he said.

“For as long as they do not do the right thing, we from the opposite side of the divide will continue to provide the checks and balances on their actions. And just to sum it up, if that invocation was meant to be a tool suppress people, they have drawn a blank. If the state of affairs is not contained, government must be more definitive of what it is they are failing to contain. They must actually explain further what it is they are seeing that the rest of us are not able to see in order to warrant the justification of the continuation of Article 31.”

Nkombo also observed that the PF would have blamed UPND for the burning of Kapalala market in Ndola if the charcoal trader did not own up.

“I would like to use the very unfortunate event of Kapalala market in Ndola on the Copperbelt which was burnt down just some day ago and had it not been for the self-confessed causer of the accident, the PF and their leaders would have immediately started pointing their ugly fingers at innocent people. So you can now tell that the invocation was arising from the unfortunate event of the burning of the City market which could have as well been a similar accident like Kapalala market and it is the reason why they invoked that Article 31. This is the paranoia that I am talking about, the fear of the unknown by the little men and women who think they can control people using draconian methods of running government,” said Nkombo.