Hakainde Hichilema is not worth dying for, PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza has told UPND supporters, whose deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka encouraged to defend themselves using any weapon when attacked.

And Mwanza has asked the police to cite UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, his vice, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and Mucheleka for inciting party supporters to use offensive weapons to attack their opponents from the ruling party.

Mwanza told News Diggers! in interview yesterday that the Church and CSOs should condemn the messages of violence being sent to UPND supporters from their leaders because it was capable of destabilizing the country’s peace.

“We in the Patriotic Front (PF) are very disappointed with the message that is coming from UPND. Starting from their president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the vice-president, Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, and now their deputy secretary general, Mr Patrick Mucheleka, where they are inciting youths to stand up with pangas (machetes) and arm themselves. Actually, the [deputy] secretary general said they can use any weapons to defend themselves from some imaginary violence. That is not the kind of language that we expect from national leaders. We do not expect that our leaders can be encouraging young people to go in arms, to pick up guns and pangas to go and fight for HH and GBM. Mr Mucheleka, himself, GBM and Mr Hakainde Hichilema will not be there while these youths are putting [up] arms, their children will not be there when the children of other innocent people will be put in arms wave. Their relatives will not be there while the relatives of other innocent people will be put in arms wave,” Mwanza cautioned.

“They do not care about the lives of these young people they are asking to arm themselves, they do not care about the security of the young people they are asking to arm themselves. They do not care about the welfare and the future of young people who they want to send to war zones to go and fight for Mr Hichilema so that he can be [Republican] President. They want to use youths as tools for them to achieve their political ambitions. So, the young people of UPND must be mindful of the fact that they’ve got leaders who only see them as tools of political violence. We don’t believe that Mr Hichilema is worth dying for, we don’t believe that there is any politician who is worth dying for. There is no politician worth carrying a panga and a gun for. Politics is service and the people that are asking for political power must know that power is given by the people through a ballot, not by a panga or a gun.”

Mwanza insisted that Hichilema was willing to become President of Zambia by whatever means.

“President Hakainde Hichilema and his leadership have got insatiable appetite for power that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of young people in order for them to be president and ministers and members of parliament. They are willing to have young people to be killed for them to achieve political power. But I want to remind and advise the young people of UPND, don’t be used! Mr Hichilema’s children, Mr GBM’s children and Mr Mucheleka’s children are safe. They are enjoying life and going to foreign universities, they are doing business and enriching themselves and they are safe. Don’t die for rich people who don’t care for you, the youths in UPND must use their energies to create wealth for themselves, they must use their energies to develop their families and to add value to Zambia. They should not die for the political ambitions of Mr Hichilema, he’s not worth it! The only person worth dying for is Jesus Christ, not a politician,” Mwanza insisted.

He called on the Church and CSOs to condemn the violent calls from UPND’s political leaders, urging them to use sober language and not promote hate speech.

“We are asking all leaders to use language that is unifying, language that promotes peace and unity and not language that promotes anarchy. President Edgar Lungu has led the way by condemning political violence and asking UPND and PF to sit down and tame our youths. Our secretary general, Mr Davies Mwila, has directed all the youths of PF to remain sober and to desist from engaging in political violence. So, I think it is important that the police cite Mr Hichilema, Mr Geoffrey Mwamba and Mr Mucheleka for inciting political violence! That is a serious crime; we have seen genocide in Rwanda and in Congo, all because of people that want to be in power at all costs. The level of hatred and bitterness that Mr Hichilema is harbouring is dangerous for this nation! We cannot give power to someone who is that power hungry and is willing to send youths into arms wave just to become President! So, the police must reign in and cite these three leaders for inciting political violence,” demanded Mwanza.

“And the Church must condemn such language. You cannot have political dialogue and reconciliation when you have leaders inciting violence. We ask upon the Church to condemn this language that is coming from UPND. We ask upon the civil society, which is quick to condemn us from PF, to also condemn this language that is coming from UPND.”