THE UPND should not expect to have it easy in the PF’s strongholds when its supporters have been violent and intolerant towards ruling party members, says PF media director Sunday Chanda.
And Chanda says constitutional lawyer John Sangwa State Counsel is just looking for relevance by suggesting that the PF should “rent a crowd to boo Hichilema if they were aggrieved with the booing of President Edgar Lungu by Monze residents.”
In an interview, Chanda urged UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to decide whether or not he would like to be given a taste of his own medicine in PF strongholds, charging that the UPND were mistaken if they expected the ruling party to stay quiet, while being abused.
“The Patriotic Front is not going to join the UPND in its race to the bottom! We believe that when the UPND goes low, we have a duty as a party that is in power to go higher. So, we will not fall for the UPND’s race to the bottom; we will not join them in their quest to reduce debate to a matter of booing someone you disagree with. And for Mr Sangwa’s information, the Patriotic Front has numbers; PF is a mass movement, it does not need to hire any crowd whatsoever. The party is under very strict instructions from the President not to retaliate, but to remain focused on showing that we are better than the UPND and we don’t need to replicate what happened in Monze and use that against Mr Hakainde Hichilema because Zambia has principled men and women, sensible young people in our population and those are in the majority and when they look at an incident, such as the one that happened in Monze, the sensible ones, those with a gift of knowledge will look at such an incident and laugh at the UPND,” Chanda argued.
“The UPND have not, as a matter of fact, gotten anything out of booing the Head of State. As a matter of fact, Zambians with good sense of judgement and wisdom have looked at what the UPND did in Monze and they all have agreed that that was a low blow. However, we are not shocked when Mr Sangwa pronounces himself on a matter that has been condemned, even by their royal highnesses in Southern Province. If Mr Sangwa believes that even their royal highnesses are hallucinating when they condemn the incident that happened in Monze, then we don’t know how else we can help the situation because, clearly, we have a situation where probably the Sangwa we are dealing with is a shadow of his former self!”
And Chanda warned that the UPND would not have it easy in ruling party strongholds if they did not stop violence in their own strongholds.
“Politics is not going to be reduced to a business of booing and staging a booing! The UPND, once again, are tempted to do that, and they organized to boo the Head of State in Western Province just on his recent visit to the province. But they were scared of the numbers [of PF], so that was why it could not work. So, it’s a mind-set in the UPND, but it is not helping them and that is not going to help them going forward,” said Chanda.
“What we will not do, however, if the UPND and Mr Hakainde Hichilema think they are going to have it easy in PF strongholds when they exhibit violence and intolerance against the PF in their strongholds, then they are mistaken. So, it is up to Mr Hakainde Hichilema to decide whether he wants PF strongholds to give him a taste of his own medicine, the ball is in his court! For the first time, we would expect that Mr Hichilema should be magnanimous enough and show character and leadership by condemning what happened in Monze, he mustn’t be lied to by frustrated voices, such as that of Mr Sangwa. Mr Sangwa is looking for relevance, we all know what our brother has gone through, so he is looking for relevance.”