PF media director Sunday Chanda has called on President Edgar to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the death of UNZA student Vespers Shimunzhila.
And PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza says government would require US$26 million every month to subsidize fuel consumption.
Vespers, a fourth year student, died of suffocation after police fired teargas into her room, causing a fire.
Speaking when he was flanked by Mwanza on Radio Christian Voice’s ‘Chat Back’ programme, Monday, Chanda said politics could not be divorced from Vespers’ death.
“It’s very easy to point fingers [but] the clarion call here is that, we are calling on the Head of State, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to establish a Commission of Inquiry into this matter. Besides the investigations that are happening, let’s have a Commission of Inquiry into this matter. Let us understand, what were the factors at play? Let us understand who was involved? And how did this happen? We saw a statement from the Minister of Information [Dora Siliya], which touched on a number of areas and you cannot take away politics from what happened at UNZA resulting in the unfortunate death of Vespers,” Chanda said.
He said so many political players had been named in the death of the student hence the need for an inquiry to ascertain who was to blame.
“There are so many versions that we are hearing about UNZA. We had comrade Chilufya Tayali raising a number of issues; we have the opposition UPND accusing government and accusing President Lungu and we have Mr Hakainde Hichilema being accused in this matter; we have the President’s name being accused in this matter; we have KBF accusing Minister Stephen Kampyongo and to put these matters to rest, let us have a Commission of Inquiry to ensure that we deal with the problems of UNZA once and for all. So, we are calling on the Head of State to take decisive actions on this particular matter. But the blame game will not just do,” he insisted.
Chanda said Zambians must not allow people to make political capital of Vesper’s death.
“What is clear again is that there is need to depoliticize UNZA. You cannot have someone thinking if they are going to get their political career…or ignite their political fortunes or the easiest way that they can get into State House is by calling on Zambians to rise against the government, and you influence another student to do certain things before their meal allowances could fall due. We are not going to have institutions, such as the University of Zambia to be a breeding ground for anarchy. It is immoral for anyone to try and make political capital out of this matter because someone has lost a child, someone has lost a sister and someone has lost a friend. It is immoral for anyone to try and draw political capital out of this death,” Chanda argued.
And commenting on government’s decision to bar Kenyan law professor Patrick Lumumba from entering the country, Mwanza branded the foreign academician “a plagiarist” who wanted to fuel confusion.
“Our being here, myself and comrade Sunday Chanda, is as a result of being invited. We did not just walk into this station and start talking because we don’t own this station because there are rules in this station. A child in a house just doesn’t go into a bedroom of a parent unless is called and allowed to go in the bedroom. So, there are rules in every house, there are rules in every nation, there are rules in every company. And Zambia has got an internal wing, which deals with internal intelligence, that is Home Affairs. And, therefore, to begin with, I find that the denial by the State to allow I don’t know if he is Professor Lumumba or it’s plagiarism Lumumba to come into this country should not even raise eyebrows! First of all, who is he? And what was he coming to do here, which we, as Zambians, can’t do? Mr Lumumba uses his tongue to make money by going round countries and say a lot of alarming and flaming statements against governments! And he does so at a fee; he is being sponsored to do those things,” Mwanza claimed.
He insisted that Zambians will not allow anyone to spoil its bilateral friendship with China.
“And we, as Zambians, have a country to protect. I heard ‘plagiarism Lumumba’ saying that he was not a security risk because he doesn’t carry arms, but the Bible is very clear that of all the things that God has created, the most destructive is a tongue, small, but very destructive! And we know that we have got a genocide in Rwanda where 800,000 people were massacred all because of tongues, because of what people were saying on radio,” Mwanza charged.
“Prof Lumumba was here to come and incite Zambians against the Chinese people, inciting Zambians against a group of people so that we can have xenophobic sentiments against our own bilateral friends who have done so much for this country. The relationship between Zambia and China has not started today, it started in 1955. And we cannot allow ‘plagiarism Lumumba’ to come here and start inciting our own people against our bilateral friends, for what benefits? So, to hear that there are some people who were even defending ‘plagiarism Lumumba,’ I was surprised because how would you defend a foreigner at the expense of your own country?”
And on fuel increment, Mwanza further claimed that if government was to continue subsidizing fuel, it would have meant scouting for US $26 million every month to cover up for the subsidies.
“There is no one who can claim that ‘vote for me [because] I will reduce the price of fuel’, that is a lie because we don’t produce fuel. So, to claim that when we vote for you, fuel will be at K5 is simply a lie. And I don’t want our people to be misled; you cannot reduce the price of a commodity that you yourself don’t produce. It is impossible because the price of that commodity is determined by the owners of the commodity. So, if the government, for instance, was to continue to subsidize fuel, it means that this government has to look for US $26 million every month to subsidize the fuel, but government cannot be subsidizing fuel because even if you look at the fuel consumption, the huge consumption goes to the multi-nationals. And government cannot be losing US $26 million every month to cover up for these subsidies,” argued Mwanza.