GOVERNMENT has condemned the behavior of UPND cadres who jeered President Edgar Lungu during his visit to Monze District in Southern Province saying that party is the most violent in Zambia’s history.
In a statement, Wednesday, Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya stated that government was disappointed that the UPND cadres saw something wrong with the visit by President Lungu when he was taking development to that area.
“Government condemns in the strongest terms, the behavior of unruly and bad mannered UPND cadres, who jeered against President Edgar Lungu, on his visit to Monze to commission new housing units for the Zambia correctional Service. President Lungu is on record and at many occasions, that as President of Zambia, it is his duty to ensure all provinces access national resources for development. It was in his quest not to leave anyone behind that he was in Monze, not for the PF, his political party, but as head of state elected by majority Zambians, to oversee the development agenda on their behalf,” Siliya stated.
“The Commissioned correctional service houses are an opportunity for our young Zambian men and women of various tribes including those from Southern Province and employed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to live in good communication. How is it then, that the UPND as a party, saw something totally wrong with this visit by President Lungu and sent bad mannered cadres to jeer the President?”
She stated that UPND was the most violent party the country had ever had.
Siliya stated that the incident illuminated the type of leadership UPND president Hakainde Hichilema possessed saying it fell below the expectation of most Zambians.
“It is true that Zambia is a democracy and citizens have the right to freedom of expression and protest. However as David Young, the American Charge d’ Affaires agreed with me last week, these rights have responsibilities and must be done in a respectful manner. Clearly, decent thinking citizens have agreed that the behavior of the UPND against President was not just disrespectful to the Head of State and his office, the Presidency, but also extremely illuminating of the type of leadership, Mr Hakaine Hichilema possesses, which falls far below that expected by Zambians of one who wishes to occupy the Presidency,” Siliya stated.
“This is why Mr. Hichilema has chosen once again not to condemn the bad manners and violence of his party members and supporters. Government has observed that before that the UPND is the most violent party in the history of our multi party politics and has failed at every opportunity to condemn violence. This is not surprising as their raison d’etre is based on the Mapatizya formula, which is violence. We dare them now to change their record by condemning the behavior of their party cadres against President Lungu.”
Siliya called upon security wings not to spare anyone found harassing citizens who were traveling through Southern Province.
“Government has received many reports from ordinary citizens afraid to go through Southern Province for fear of being attacked by bad mannered and violent UPND cadres. The government wishes to assure all Zambians that Zambia is for all citizens regardless of your tribe and as such citizens are free to move freely in their own country. We urge the security wings not to spare anyone found harassing citizens for going to our passing through Southern Province,” stated Siliya.
“Once again government is cognisant of the fact that a party in government and opposition parties do not necessarily have to agree. However, that disagreement must be expressed in palatable and decent manner and must be carried out at the right place and right time. The onus is on opposition leaders to exhibit decency for their followers to follow.”