GBM should buy pangas for his children and grandchildren for axing each other before advising youths in Chilanga to use the offensive weapons, says Patriotic Front deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri.

Commenting on GBM’s “panga for panga” statement, which he made during the filing in of nominations for UPND’s Charmaine Musonda, Phiri challenged GBM to buy his children and grandchildren pangas if he wanted to see violence.

“Ba GBM is going towards 60, if he’s not 60 already. He is in his afternoons and people can’t be following him in violence. I am urging the young people to say no to violence. If GBM wants panga to panga, then let him buy pangas and give them to his own children. He is a father of about eight children, let him get those pangas and give them to his children and his grandchildren. That’s when I would expect any other youth to stand up and also be given a panga. But if GBM is not going to buy pangas for any of his children and grandchildren to go in Chilanga and axe people, then youths should say no to that. And remember as Christians…GBM and myself are Catholics and the Bible we read tells us to look at our friends’ children like our own, it’s us who are supposed to instill morals in those children. And let me repeat what our President, Mr Edgar Lungu and our founding father, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, have said: we don’t need bloodshed to ascend to the Presidency because we believe that we are all God’s creation,” Phiri advised.

She recalled that the late Anderson Mazoka left a peaceful legacy in the UPND.

“It’s unfortunate that the people who are now in UPND are not following the spirit of Anderson Kambela Mazoka, who was the founder member of the UPND. That man was principled, he wasn’t a savage and that’s why he attracted politicians from across the board. The UPND had people like Sichinga, Given Lubinda, my own President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the list is endless. Mazoka attracted people from all the provinces because of the way he carried himself. When he died, we all saw what happened; when UPND went for the convention and in the next election, you remember how the violence started. In 2001, Mazoka was perceived to have won the elections and the people in UPND just like when we thought we had won the elections, exactly what Michael Sata did to stop the cadres from being violent and going back to the drawing board, that’s what Kambela Mazoka also did. He told the people in UPND not to go out and start fighting,” Phiri recalled.

“Unfortunately, Mazoka passed on and the leadership changed hands to my elder brother, Hakainde Hichilema. That was when we witnessed the first violence in this country through the ‘Mapatizya’ formula. From there, even if they want to provoke a situation and blame other parties to be violent, it’s them who are so violent. Let us remember the by-elections in Mufumbwe when Ambassador Mulondwe Muzungu contested, we saw old people coming out of the room with underpants. Where we saw Ambassador Muzungu’s son killing three children by hitting them with a car. And the violence has continued; some of this violence we are seeing is happening in our strongholds in self-defence because these UPND, they don’t hesitate just like my elder brother, GBM. But if an adult like GBM, a grandfather is speaking like that ‘panga for panga,’ then where are we going as a nation?”

And Phiri called for politics of civility in the country, explaining that budding politicians, and especially women, would be scared to grow their political careers in a violent environment.

“We don’t want violence to continue, let’s see civilisation in Chilanga especially that majority of the candidates there are women. We are going to scare our own candidates because they will be failing to walk by virtue of them being women. There are very few women who can stand up like me no matter how much is smeared on you and be able to walk with your head high. And some of these women are new people who [are] coming on the political scene. So, if violence is taken there, we are going to disadvantage our own women when we want 50 per cent representation as per SADC Protocol now. So, I am urging everybody who is going to Chilanga to ignore the sentiments of my brother, GBM,” she appealed.

She further emphasised on the need for leaders to instill good morals in youths and their own children.

“As politicians, we should also remember that if we don’t leave peace in this country when God calls us, our own children and grandchildren are going to say bad things and we will be turning in our graves. The way the Bible tells us to leave wealth to children, it’s not only wealth in money [terms], but it’s wealth in moral standing in society, and of course money comes in because if you don’t leave disciplined children, even if we left them with PhDs and Masters, they will be useless,” said Phiri.