UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu should not forget that he attained power through illegitimate, dubious means.

And Hichilema says in the 2021 elections, he is confident that police officers, who are not immune to the harsh living conditions, will side with the people of Zambia.

Speaking during the 2019 Zambia Police Service superior officers’ annual ball, Friday, President Lungu asked police officers not to be used by politicians who wanted to attain power in illegitimate means.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I expect you to work even harder to ensuring that law and order continues to prevail at all times. In line with your 2020 theme in which you have expressed desire to improve on your operational performance, I challenge you to remain resolute, professional, non-partisan, loyal to the Zambian constitution, the government and the people of Zambia. Do not allow yourselves to be used by people with intentions to get to power through illegitimate or dubious means,” said President Lungu.

“We are a peace loving nation hence the need to cherish and uphold this treasure. I further wish to take this opportunity to note that government has purchased new uniforms, specialized riot equipment, and indeed assorted equipment to enable you serve the nation adequately, especially during the 2021 general elections. This is also aimed at boosting the morale of officers as they execute their mandate.”

But reacting to this in a statement, Hichilema wondered whether President Lungu was no aware of how he ascended into office.

“We feel compelled to respond to Mr Edgar Lungu’s veiled threats against opposition and other dissenting views regarding the forth coming tripatite elections in 2021. In his address, Mr Lungu ‘advised the police command not to be used by people with intentions to get power through illegitimate or dubious means’. We urge Mr Lungu to look in the mirror and tell us how he accended to power and who has gotten where he is through dubious means. We are not in power because of his abuse of his powers to intimidate public institutions,” Hichilema stated.

And Hichilema said he was confident that police officers would stand with Zambians in 2021.

“We wish to make it clear that the policemen and women are Zambians and are subjected to the same harsh conditions. In 2021, they will have to choose to stand with their fellow Zambians and should not accept to be used as tools against their parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and nieces who will choose to defend their victory. An order to crush Zambians is an order to crush their relatives who want a better life. We believe our police service is professional enough to be on the right side of history and choose to ignore unlawful orders that are meant to protect the selfish interest of the few who are scared to hand over power for fear of facing the law for their unbridled appetite for corruption and plunder of public resources. 2021 will be a deciding year where the police will have to choose to stand either with the majority suffering or the few selfish individuals. 2021 uwafitala akaimwenapo!” stated Hichilema in a Facebook post.