People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says President Lungu should leave politics of insecurity and intimidation in 2019.

On Wednesday, President Edgar Lungu asked opposition leaders to leave politics of insults in 2019.

“As far as some of our colleagues are concerned, ‘there is nothing good in Zambia, everything is bad!’ We would like to point out to them that the real competition is in the development arena; the roads, the hospitals, the schools, the universities and the advancement of women empowerment of youths. In 2020, let us have a contest of noble development politics for the ultimate benefit of all rather than a contest of insults that ultimately benefits none,” said President Lungu

But in an interview, Thursday, Banda welcomed President Lungu’s call, but advised him to stop politics of intimidation.

“We welcome President Edgar Lungu’s message that the opposition and the ruling party must debate on ideas. What we know is that politics of insults and intimidations are what causes violence but in the same vein, we would like to call on the President to leave politics of insecurity and intimidation in 2019 as well. Let us level the playing field for all political players so that as we approach 2021, we should have the freedom to campaign freely and talk to our people unlike abusing the Public Order Act like they did for the opposition and activists in 2019. We also call President Edgar Lungu to a debate so that we discuss those ideas we want,” said Banda.

“Just the other week, we saw activists Laura Miti and Fumba Chama were arrested in Livingstone, that is intimidation because these people, especially Pilato, was sharing governance ideas with young people, telling them to hold government accountable. He was arrested with a false charge. You cannot expect us as opposition parties and activists to ask the police to hold indoor meetings. If I want to hold a workshop with party members, do I have to call the police and let them know we are going to have a workshop? It is impractical! We don’t want the police to be abused. And we know that the law is applied ineffectively because PF members don’t ask the police for anything that they want to do. They will go to have campaigns in Kabushi, in Luapula and anywhere else. So why should the opposition be asked to have permission just to have an indoor meeting? And we call on the police not to apply the law unfairly.”