Antonio Mwanza says UPND members worship their leader Hakainde Hichilema like he is their god.
And Mwanza says President Edgar Lungu is the only Head of State who has put in place tangible measures to fight corruption.
Meanwhile, Mwanza says there is no opposition in Zambia as it died in 2011 when Michael Sata became president.
On Sunday, some Lusaka Province UPND youths reported Mwanza, who is PF deputy media director, to the Police over his remarks which they said were a threat on their leader.
But in an interview, Monday, Mwanza defended his remarks saying the UPND was just sensitive to criticism.
“If they have gone to the police, well and good. I’m here, they will find me. The law enforcement agencies have procedure. I am a very law abiding citizen and I can’t lose sleep because I have committed no crime whatsoever. They can even go and report to Scotland Yard or to CIA. By the way they shouldn’t be so sensitive to criticism. They criticize others everyday. They insult President Lungu actually, he has never responded. But they so sensitive to an extent that once you mention Hichilema, it’s like he is their god. They worship him, it is like he is their god. So they should stop idolising him,” Mwanza said.
“Hakainde Hichilema has been issuing seditious and treasonous statements insinuating that the unconstitutional take over of power by the military in Zimbabwe might happen here. And that the unconstitutional swearing in ceremony of Raila Odinga can also happen here and people must be on the red alert. The constitution does not allow what happened in Zimbabwe or what happened in Uganda to happen in Zambia. So to suggest otherwise, there is a penalty. And the penalty for treason is very clear. So when I said what I said, I was simply cautioning him and reminding him that he should be careful of the things that he says.”
He said he was simply cautioning Hichilema that his insatiable appetite for power would land him in problems.
“I was simply cautioning him that the insatiable appetite for power, will land him in problems. By any means, who wants to be ruled by a person who is power hungry? A man who is power hungry is dangerous. You can not give power to people who are power hungry, to people who are bitter and people who habour so much hatred in their hearts that they refuse to accept the verdict of the Zambian people. The people voted and they chose President Edgar Lungu as their President,” Mwanza said.
He charged that the only thing the UPND was good at was misinformation and other evil things.
“The UPND has failed even to explain what they stand for. Even if you go on the streets and ask any Zambian to say ‘what does UPND stand for’ nobody knows. They have failed to explain what they stand for, they have failed to explain their agenda for the country, their manifesto, they have failed to provide alternative policies to the PF government, credible checks and balances. The only thing they do is malice, misinformation, agitation and all sorts of evil things. So they have run out of ideas,” he said.
Mwanza lamented that he had received too much hate from UPND members since he defected to the ruling party.
“My defection to PF has caused so much panic and hatred from UPND because I’m not UPND [and] I was not UPND. I left FDD to join PF, I would have understood if the acrimony was coming from FDD. I find it totally strange that UPND have found it very difficult to accept that I have a democratic right to choose a political of my choice. I exercised my right to go to PF and I have no apology and no explanations to make. But the UPND have made it their program that they have to fight me and discredit me as if I belonged to UPND. When they thought I was joining them, they were praising me. They were saying ‘I’m an excellent politician’, very nice things about me [but] immediately I joined PF, I have become something else. I have become immoral, all sorts of names that they are giving me everyday,” he said.
“I find it very funny that the UPND have made it their job to fight me. They can find a spokesperson. If they really want, I can be their consultant. And I will charge them consultant fee because they seem not to have anyone to articulate issues for them. They don’t have the right human resource to articulate their programs and their party policy, that is if they have a party policy by the way. I find it very laughable that UPND is in pain and they failed to accept that I have a democratic right to choose a political party of my choice.”
And Mwanza defended President Lungu’s ‘ubomba mwibala alya mwibala’ statement.
“This issue that ‘ubomba mwibala alya mwibala’, is being blown out of context. I have seen that the opposition want to deliberately misinform the public and blow what President Lungu said out of context. The President did not say that Zambians are free to go and steal. The President, actually if you heard the whole statement, was very categorical in cautioning those that have been charged with the responsibility to look after public resources. Not to dip their fingers in what doesn’t belong to them. They should not go beyond what is entitled to them,” Mwanza said.
“This is the only President and government that has put practical measures to fight corruption. Before President Lungu there was no Article 225 in the Constitution which gives power to the Auditor General to expressly report those that have stolen public resources to investigative wings. Just last week the President introduced the Public Management Finance Bill which is specifically aimed at enhancing accountability and transparency in the management of public affairs with regard to fiscal management. We didn’t have that bill since 1964. To add on that, this government has introduced the new procurement bill which is aimed at ensuring that the over pricing that we have been seen over the years is tackled and that the procurement process is more transparent. So how can a government that is putting up strategic measures to combat corruption be accused of encouraging people to go and steal? That doesn’t make sense.”
And Mwanza said there was no opposition in Zambia.
“I can tell you that in this country, there is no opposition. The opposition died with PF under Micheal Sata in 2011. What we have now is what we call where I come from as ‘manyengwe (kid’s play)’. We have leaders who cannot provide credible checks and balances. That is very very wrong and Zambians must be weary of entrusting such leaders with power,” he said.