UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has expressed anger at the continued provocation from the ruling Patriotic Front, saying the country is being run by a terrorist-like organisation.

And Hichilema has called on Zambians to unite again, like they did in 1991 to defeat the one party state and in 2001 to reject the third term bid, saying only a united people’s voice will save the country from destruction at the hands of the Patriotic Front.

“The police have thrown out our youths’ notifications, NDC and UPND, on the peaceful demonstrations against ECZ, yet PF are having rallies. Lusambo and everybody in PF do as they wish. I believe they do not even notify the police, but we were following the law, they don’t want us to do it. This confirms that PF is behaving like a terrorist organisation, but using state resources and instruments such as the police and the Judiciary to brutalise citizens, to oppress citizens, to take away citizens rights and freedoms of assembly, movement and associations,” he lamented.

“You followed what they did to my support of the community in Kamanga on the water system there. The vandalism there, the discharging of live ammunition in the community, and the beating of people openly. PF are now the Janjaweed of Zambian politics. I wish to remind the people of that article which got me arrested, where I said the PF were training militia. This is what we have now, the maturing of the terrorist seed that was planted way back which is now what we see visible in terrorising communities. The Janjaweed of Zambia, the militias that were trained have now matured and we can see it in the Kamanga situation, we can see it in the Kanyama brutalisation, in Nakonde where the petrol bombed our office a few days ago. We see it literally how the PF are terrorising bus stops, frightening off everybody, beating people. Look at those individuals calling themselves America 1 and America 2, look at how they can threaten anybody with guns.”

He appealed to the police to resist being used for a terrorist agenda.

“I am appealing to the police not to be used in the PF terrorists agenda. I am reminding people where we have come from and where we are now. You can see that the way NRCs are being issued, this is like a terrorist approach; oppressing citizens, disenfranchising citizens, trying to do away with the voter register, all of these are connected things. These are connected actions. I am calling on the police, I am calling upon the Judiciary not to be used by this terrorist-like organisation hiding in the name of a government and abusing resources, abusing instruments of power. I am calling on Zambians that they must draw a line and recognise PF for what it is and that it is after destroying democracy. PF wants to destroy our freedoms and destroy even our voting rights,” he said.

“I am calling upon the SADC, I am calling on the African Union, I am calling on the UN and the Commonwealth to see what is happening in Zambia. Here is an organisation that acts like a terrorist group, but concealing itself as a government. They are using unofficial militias which is what we see in PF now, they are in combats like they are in a war zone, just to terrorise citizens. So the first call is to the citizens, the Human Rights Commission, the police, the Judiciary, including Parliament; they must all open their eyes to what is going on. Here is a terrorist organisation concealing itself in a name of a government, brutalising citizens. When you see corruption at the level it is going and now no one is willing to confront it, it means the governance institutions have been destroyed and we need help. You have seen the attempts they are making to amend the Financial Intelligence Center, all of these are orchestrated to destroy the state of Zambia while they reign supreme. In Zambia today, anyone who doesn’t agree with the PF they send thugs to beat you or threaten you. They set you up like what they did on gassing where they tried to set some of us up, scheming to manufacture, in an evil manner, a gassing scheme in order to frame some of us.””

Hichilema also accused Kampyongo of eliminating his 2021 parliamentary rivals in Shiwang’andu.

“Even all those detentions you see like Mucheleka’s, they decapitated our campaigns in Lukashya in order to rig the elections. All of this is a plan, remember they devised a plan how to destroy the opposition some time back. This has been a long held plan to destroy this country, to destroy the opposition, to destroy institutions of governance, and also to destroy the economy so that food can be weaponised. They are using the DMMU to weaponise hunger by dishing out food in the by elections, whenever they want to demean people, to take away people’s dignity. This is a well orchestrated plan by the PF. They are threatening me to try and remove me from the ballot paper in 2021. This is what dictators do, it is what terrorists do. Keeping Mucheleka in prison for a crime he did not commit is meant to shut alternative voices. Kampyongo took the opportunity to arrest the campaign manager for Lukashya, and that young Mubanga because he is the candidate for Shiwangandu and Kampyongo knows. So Kampyongo is trying to eliminate an opponent and is abusing public office,” he said.

The opposition leader asked citizens to unite and defeat the PF.

“Zambia feels like it is being run by a terrorist organisation, and this is the plan for the PF so that they can then go around and steal elections, this is their plan for 2021. But I want to issue a message to the people of Zambia that they must not be scared, they must not think that the election would be stolen in 2021. We will protect our elections, Zambians will protect their elections as they did to push out the colonialists by working together and without segregating each other. We achieved this in 1991 against the one party state dictatorship which was a very frightening preposition. It was a frightening pre position to think that you can remove Kaunda and the one party state, but we did it as a country. We stood up against the third term in 2001 and because we worked together and people sacrificed, the third term was defeated. I think this is another time when people should draw a line in the sand, are you with the PF and the corruption and thuggery, the militias, the shootings, petrol bombing of offices and indeed the gassing schemes or you are on the side of the people.For us in UPND we are on the side of the people and the people and the people must choose to be on the right side of history. Remember in 2021 sitting vice president Christian Tembo had to sacrifice a salary, a status as a sitting vice president. About 20 MMD ministers drew the line in the sand and stood on the side of the people to reject the third term,” Hichilema said.

“This is the call to PF members who know that where the party has been taken is not where Sata wanted to take it, they too must draw the line in the sand. No one can stand with two legs one leg with the PF, one leg with the people, no. This is the time to draw the line and stand on one side. Even the opposition, I am calling on them, you can’t flirt with PF in the night and in the day you call yourself opposition. Take your stand now, be on the side of the people for 2021. When the people, the church and everybody is on the side of the people we will defeat the PF even with their rigging plans. People are more powerful than one political party and history has taught us that. I want to call on the people of Zambia to do what we have done correctively before to deliver independence, to deliver multi partyism, to reject the third term; 2021 is yet another time to work collectively. What the PF wants to do with Bill 10 is something that a terrorist organisation or and brutal state would do to change the laws. Do you know what they have done on the Electoral Commission, because they know that doing away with the voter register is illegal, they have now pushed a statutory instrument. They sneaked in an SI to basically undermine our court processes where we are arguing that what ECZ is doing is illegal. That is what apartheid regime was doing in South Africa; to formulate laws which perpetuated the oppression and suppression of the black people in South Africa.””

He urged citizens to reject the new voters register.

“That is what PF is doing, the matter is in court already challenging the illegalities of electronic voter registration, doing away with the 2016 voter registration. Then they try and go behind and do an SI. You can’t implement the law in retrospect only if you are a dictator, only if you are a terrorist organisation. Let’s call these guys for what they are. We call on the Zambians, we call on everybody to open their eyes and see what is going on,” said Hichilema.