Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo says President Edgar Lungu and the PF must apologize to Hakainde Hichilema for inflicting pain on him during his days in prison as well as for allegedly butchering him in Sesheke.
And Nkombo says President Lungu’s speech to parliament was not convincing in terms of upholding morals because if he really meant what he was preaching, he would have fired Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe for circulating a pornographic video.
Debating President Lungu’s address, Nkombo said if President Lungu was desirous of reconciliation, apologizing to Hichilema would be a good start.
“We are living in a situation where it is dangerous to be right under Patriotic Front. The challenge that I have for president Edgar Lungu is that since he seems desirous of reconciliation, (a) I would like him to see the sense for him and his people to apologize to those who they have inflicted pain on such as the leader of the biggest opposition in this country Mr Hakainde Hichilema has been abused by this state. Mr Hakainde Hichilema the leader of the opposition here in a democracy has been taken to jail for more than 127 days when there is no…[and deputy speaker Namugala held his thought],” Nkombo said.
At this point, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo rose on a point of order stating that Nkombo was raising matters which were not of that particular sitting’s jurisdiction as he had veered off the president’s speech.
But deputy speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala guided Kampyongo and the executive to take note of the views put across by the opposition and wait for their time of debate so that they could respond to the issues raised.
Nkombo then continued with his debate saying; “What I was saying is that for any meaningful reconciliation to happen, a problem must be identified and I was in the process of identifying a problem which I named bigotry where people do not accommodate views of those whose views they don’t agree with. And I said apologies must be rendered to those who the state has wronged and I gave an example of an individual who was taken into jail for a period of 127 days for having committed no crime. I am talking about an apology that should come from the Head of State to this individual who they attempted to assassinate in the village in Sesheke, an individual who had to go in the bush to hide in his own country.”
The Mazabuka lawmaker also it was senseless for the president to speak about upholding morals when ministers with questionable characters were still serving in his Cabinet.
“Those who wrong others, those who cause others to be fugitives in their own country, if they are truly interested in dialogue and reconciliation, they must apologize because he who says sorry is recruit number one for reconciliation. Things are not right in this country, we have offended each other far too long. We are now in an egg chicken situation where those who are ignorant do not know where the problem is stemmed from. This is the era madam where we have a minister of government continuing to work as normal when he circulates pornography. I reminded the president here in my reign comment that when you come to talk about morals, do not forget about pornography. It is a fact. In the days of Kenneth Kaunda, he would fired that minister instantly as a demonstration of upholding morals, values and ethics. The president could not convince me that what he was saying in this speech, he would practice. Let us walk the talk,” Nkombo said.
“I have heard other debaters giving glowing tribute to the speech by the president but I want to put it real that in his 50 minutes [speech], I call it a “deal” where somebody is speaking of things that he cannot justify, madam, his disposition was that of meekness. He delivered in his speech in quietly a state manner I must confess, but when you go on the ground and translate what goes on there, it’s totally different. There is despotism is this country, there is bigotry in this country where people who have different vies are treated as children of lesser gods. In a democracy, there is zero tolerance of people who have different views [and] this is what we are experiencing in this country.”
He said PF, under President Lungu, had been silently soliciting for every Zambian to be turned into his party supporter.
“The president did speak on the issue of reconciliation madam speaker [and] I am on the same page with him that we need to reconcile. For reconciliation to be meaningful, first of all you have to identify where the problem is and I have already stated that one of the problems that this country is suffering from is bigotry where there is no accommodation, there is no tolerance whatsoever of people who think differently from those who have the instruments of power. Under President Edgar Lungu, PF has silently been wanting everyone to be PF. This is a departure from the doctrine of loving your neighbor as you love yourself [but] instead the PF are practicing the doctrine that goes ‘Love your neighbor when the husband is away.’ They are going around the country convincing the Councillors to defect to PF. Our country has become the Kunta Kinte kingdom,” said Nkombo.
“We have been calling for genuine dialogue with our brothers and sisters in the patriotic front. I have no option but to think that we, especially those who are driving the process in this country are pretenders because if they were not, this dialogue would have happened a long time ago. What we have today is a lot of pretense madam speaker. This generation of politicians have driven this country to levels unprecedented. We have dropped our standards madam speaker. The ‘One Zambia one nation’ motto is now meaningless. Under this government of PF why have we dropped our standards? why has ignorance been the norm? a country which now promotes ignorance. Ignorance now has become excellence.”