Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya says she will resign from her positions as minister and MP if UPND president Hakainde Hichilema proves that government sold ZAFFICO.
Meanwhile Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says government has made significant progress in repealing the Mental disorders Act and that the bill will now be called the Mental Health Services Act.
Speaking during a joint press briefing in Lusaka, Wednesday, Siliya challenged Hichilema to resign from his party if he did not have the said evidence.
“Government has observed with great concern a new trend by opposition political leaders and in particular the UPND leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema to package innuendos, to package untruths, simply lies to gain popularity. And also an agenda to incite citizens of this country against the duly elected government. That is very much against the penal code of Zambia where in article 57 and 60, it also extends to others such as the media that we are not to publish information that will bring the government, a fully elected government into contempt unless you believe that that information to be true. And the warning from government is that following the riots yesterday over ZAFFICO, government relevant wings are going to carry a thorough investigation on those who were inciting and even those who had the opportunity to rebroadcast this inciting,” Siliya said.
“I want to be clear, government is not against the opposition. In a democracy the majority will get their way. But the minority must also be heard but this comes with responsibility. To be heard means that you must exercise responsibility. And that responsibility also falls on the media and citizens. Those who were incited yesterday are arrested and are in cells. Those who incited them are at home with their children they are not suffering. So we all have to be wary of politicians who have failed to gunner support for the citizens in general elections and they want quick popularity by simply telling lies. I am challenign Mr Hakainde that indeed he has any proof that he has been sold, or even ZNBC that it has been sold, I am prepared to resign. And in the same manner I am giving him a week on behalf of government that if he does not bring this evidence, he too should be prepared to resign as the opposition leader of the UPND.”
Siliya advised UPND to find an another leader because HH was destroying the country’s image.
“I suggest that the UPND should be looking for leadership elsewhere because leadership cannot be about telling lies. These are not personal issues. We are all there to provide leadership to the people of Zambia. And as people choose leaders, they expect whether that leadership is in government or opposition, it must be responsible,” said Siliya.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya said government had made significant progress in repealing the Mental disorders Act and that the bill would now be called the Mental Health Services Act.
“We would like to update you that government has made significant progress in repealing the Mental disorders Act. The Mental Disorders Act was promulgated in the year 1949 and last repealed in 1951. And it had very derogatory terms in it, such as referring to mental patients as idiots, imbeciles and other derogatory terms. So, the Zambian government under His Excellency, in transforming the health sector and addressing all facets of health, has embarked on a process to re-do, to repeal Mental Disorders Act calling the Mental Health Services Act which will culminate now in us intrenching best practices in mental health and also ensuring that the fundamental freedoms and rights of mental health patients are enshrined. And we will also ensure that other provisions in the broader health systems such as adequate infrastructure, adequate space for mental health services are provided for. But critically we will ensure that primary health care incorporates mental health services essentially. So, we will be presenting that bill to parliament soon,” said Dr Chilufya.