UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has no right to order police to arrest their leader, Hakainde Hichilema for simply campaigning.

In a statement, Sunday, Katuka reminded Kampyongo that during election campaigns, President Lungu was just as important as other political players.

“We wish to take great exception at Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo’s reckless statement threatening to arrest our President Hakainde Hichilema for no valid reason. What Kampyongo should know is that a by election is not a state function requiring the Head of State to have Presidential duty in a campaign area. The Constitution of Zambia amendment No.2 of 2016 and the Electoral Process Act 2016 do not regard the President as a state figure on the tour of duty when he goes to campaign; He is as important as other political players. Why would Kampyongo think president Hichilema cannot go to campaign in an area of a by election for as long as Lungu is there, when HH is a leader of a political party?” Katuka asked.

“Why is Kampyongo and his President Lungu so uncomfortable to compete with president Hichilema?We do not know which constitution Kampyongo and Lungu believe in. We want to warn that the United Party for National Development (UPND), this time around will not tolerate arbitrary arrests of its president. Is Kampyongo aware of the live ammunitions fired at President Hichilema? Yet we decided not to reiterate? Is he behind this illegal operation? We wish to warn that it is people like Kampyongo who will go to jail if they want to think that they can do anything outside the law.”

He stated that Hichilema was free to campaign without intimidation.

“President Hichilema is free to campaign as provided for in the law. Kampyongo is Home Affairs Minister and not a Patriotic Front Cadre. He should realize that he is presiding over the civil servants who execute their duty within the ambit of the law. Has President Lungu relinquished his powers to Kampyongo? Is Kamyongo telling us he is now the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for him to command the Police to arrest HH? We have no doubt that Kampyongo and his Lungu are responsible for the live ammunitions fired at our President in Sesheke. We wish to remind them that what happened in Sesheke where Police fired live ammunitions at innocent citizens who are trying to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms is crime against humanity and an act of terrorism,” Katuka stated.

He stated that Kampyongo would soon be made to account for his reckless acts.

“We shall not hesitate to bring individuals like Kampyongo to account for such reckless acts before the court in due course. Kampyongo’s utterances also boarder on treason as he has usurped Presidential powers by assuming the role of a Commander in chief of the Police Service by giving unlawful orders to the Police. We would like to warn Kampyongo that we shall not hesitate to bring legal action against him if he thinks he is above the law. Time will soon come for him to account for his actions,” stated Katuka.

“Kampyongo should realize that leaders come and go. Every person has his own day. He is not the first and last Home Affairs Minister. He must allow the people to exercise their right to vote for the leader of their choice without sending Police to terrorize Sesheke residents as a way of keeping them away from voting. We wish to urge all the electorates to ignore Kampyongo’s barbaric behavior and turn up in big numbers and vote for a leader of their choice without fear.”