Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale says he has temporarily withdrawn from attending church services because some sponsored UPND agents have been stalking him.

But UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says Hamukale is hallucinating and should deal with calls for his removal from some PF officials.

Meanwhile, Mweetwa says citizens are abusing social media because they are angry about the state of affairs in the country.

In a Facebook post, June 13, Hamukale charged that his life was under threat as some UPND sponsored agents were stalking him every time he went to church.

“Withdrawal from attending church services: I have not resigned from the Seventh Day Adventist church but I have withdrawn from attending church services temporarily due to security threats by UPND sponsored agents that stalk me,” stated Hamukale.

But reacting to Hamukale’s post, Mweetwa, who is also Choma Central UPND member of parliament, said it was some PF members in the province who had been advocating that the minister be removed.

“No one is interested about him being PF, no. That is his democratic right. Why is it that he is the only one who claims to be stalked? There are people like PF member of the Central Committee Kebby Mbewe, we live together in Choma. We chat with him, we meet, we are always laughing. Why is it that it is only him (Hamukale) who is complaining of being stalked? Who is stalking him? [And] why hasn’t he reported those people to police? I think as a people we should move on from some of these kind of politics and begin providing leadership, not all the time depicting politics of low class, politics of division all the time when the country requires unity. This is dragging the country backward. I know that in the province he is not getting relevant support from PF. He knows himself that some PF in the province have been advocating that he be removed as provincial minister,” Mweetwa said.

Mweetwa advised Hamukale to stop sensationalising issues.

“All we can say is that let him enjoy his ministerial position. And for us as members of parliament from Southern Province, he knows that we are supporting him and working with him in the province. And we would like our support to continue. This is not time to begin to personalise and sensationalise matters. It is time to provide leadership and not politicking. He knows better that if there is a place which is peaceful in Zambia, it is that same place which he is talking about. I live with him in Choma as provincial minister himself [and] he knows that even if it is time for campaigns or just any other time, there is nothing like PF or UPND. We co-exist as one. People live together, sell together in a market with some supporting UPND and others supporting PF. That identity to say ‘this one is from that party’ is not there,” Mweetwa said.

Meanwhile, Mweetwa said UPND had no control over how citizens choose to use social media.

He said it was wrong for Copperbelt PF chairman Nathan Chanda to accuse his party members of abusing social media to insult government.

“We as UPND have no control over any citizen’s behaviour on social media. The truth is that citizens are using social media the way they want and I know that a lot of people in Zambia are not happy with the economic challenges [which] they are facing. Majority of people even those in PF are dissatisfied with what is happening in the county, the levels of corruption in the country, the way our leadership is reacting to the FIC report instead of grateful and thankful that there are still men and women of calibre in our midst who can produce such a report at a time like this. The leadership should have been grateful and asked relevant investigative authorities to get to the bottom of those revelations. But the leadership is averse and reacting angrily. So these are the things that make people go to social media and say all sorts of things. But we as UPND do not subscribe to social media participation which is bent on insults,” said Mweetwa.