UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu should desist from using instruments of power to suppress citizens in the country.

Speaking during a press briefing, Hichilema said it was clear that President Lungu had been instructing Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo to infringe on citizens’ rights.

“Clearly, Mr Lungu is responsible for all that we see. All this affront to citizens’ freedom, particularly in the last couple of days. To our youths, to our artists, the musicians and indeed to political party members, those of us who are genuinely in the opposition, Mr Lungu is solely responsible for the outburst of one guy who would really not have been a Minister in the name of Lusambo. You look at Lusambo’s behaviour, it is thuggish behaviour. It is far from being a Minister, in a decent government of course, but in the PF government, maybe he qualifies to be a Minister. Mr Lungu is the one instructing Lusambo to behave in the manner he behaved at a press briefing a few days ago. He is the one encouraging Kampyongo to threatened citizens’ rights and freedoms, it is Mr Lungu and nobody else,” Hichilema said.

“You can’t ask the youth why they are angry? You are the reason why the youths are angry. The youths have no jobs, they have no opportunities, they have no businesses even before the coronavirus came to visit this country. So the youths are asking ‘where are the jobs you promised us? The business opportunities you promised us?’. Business opportunities are going to foreigners everyday, PF is protecting foreigners. I have never seen a government protecting foreigners at the expense of it’s own citizens. Yes, every citizen of the world must be protected but your primary responsibility is to look after the people of Zambia.”

Hichilema said being silent on national matters would endorse dictatorship and breed the growth of a brutal regime.

“To remind Mr Lungu, Lusambo thug, Kampyongo and a few PF thugs that they are not in the ‘weldi’. I want to say to the youth, musicians to speak out to continue because you are within the law. If you agreed to be silent, it means you are endorsing brutality, you are endorsing dictatorship; you are endorsing a regime that has denied you basic necessities, food, jobs, education, business opportunities. If you choose to be silent, you will directly endorse what this brutal regime is doing to the people of Zambia. So speak out, we are with you. Together, stand on our shoulders, we stand on each other’s shoulders, we are stronger. Don’t feel intimidated, continue speaking because you are on the right side of the law. You are not alone, you join the many in the world that want to preserve their freedoms,” Hichilema said.

” Let us work as a team. The citizens of this country have always risen together when our common interests are challenged as they are now. I want to assure the youths, our friends, artists, that HH, UPND will restore this fundamental human right and freedom in just a few months. As you have put us in office to serve you and not to threaten you. We are different, I hear many times people say that politicians are the same; we are cut from a different cloth. You cannot go into public office to threaten citizens, instead of helping the youth, you are brutalising them, stop it!”

And Hichilema accused the PF of stopping the UPND from having intra party elections because they wanted to disqualify the opposition party from participating in the 2021 general elections.

“UPND members are having intra party elections and they are being brutalised. The PF are having intra party elections and the police are protecting them. What is happening? What is the issue? Are there two laws in this country? No, there is only one Constitution which is the bedrock of all the secondary roles. Why is this double standards going on? Everything under PF is animal style. We understand the desperation of the PF that they have lost grip, the economy has collapsed. Allow any other party to have their elections, it’s a constitutional requirement. Why are you afraid of UPND having intra party elections? So that you can disqualify UPND in the 2021 elections. We see you where you are trying to go, Zambians will not allow you to do that,” said Hichilema.