UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has called on Zambians to sue Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya and other PF members, saying using tribe to divide citizens is criminal.

And Hichilema says the PF is a brutal and dictatorial regime bent on oppressing citizens through government institutions.

Commenting on Siliya’s remarks that Tongas had risen against the PF, Hichilema said the Chief Government Spokesperson and her party were tired.

He said it was disappointing that President Edgar Lungu was mute while most of his Cabinet Ministers continued to divide the country using tribal hate speech.

“The Dora Siliyas are tired, they must go, they think that they own this country? A person who is supposed to build unity in the country is the one dividing the country. By the way, it is illegal for Dora to do what she is doing. I am looking out to Zambians to sue Dora Siliya because talking tribal, ethnic divide is a crime, according to our Constitution. What (Brian) Mundubile (Government Chief Whip) has been talking about, dividing the country on tribal lines is a crime, what (Prof) Nkandu Luo (Livestock Minister) has been talking about is a crime. So, I expect Zambians to draw out legal processes against these tribalists. The youth in Muchinga was calling other ethnic groups as cockroaches and rats, that is the Rwanda language that led to genocide in Rwanda!” Hichilema said in an interview.

“Someone in the name of Mr Lungu, who is supposed to bring order and protect citizens from abuse, from injustice, from crime is mute. It means that it is him who is sending Dora Siliya; it is him who is sending Dora Siliya to say the divisive nonsense they are talking about. It is him who is sending Mundubile, who is sending that youth calling fellow citizens, cockroaches and rats, to invoke genocidal behaviour in our country and yet someone, who claims to be a leader of all citizens, 18 million, is quiet. Actually, he is not quiet, he is loudly quiet, which means he is sending the message to those abusing citizens and threatening citizens and calling out names and arresting citizens, searching our premises.”

Hichilema said it was time for Siliya to leave office.

“We invite those who voted for the late Mr Sata, genuinely, that your agenda has been hijacked by Mr Lungu and his surrogates. You should drift to the side of the people, that is my call. This is not what Mr Sata meant to do. Can you imagine if Mr Sata woke up today and found Dora Siliya as a Cabinet Minister in the PF government? Just imagine for a moment. Wasn’t Dora Siliya the one calling Sata names? Was she not the one saying, ‘Sata can never be president?’ Was she not the one who said the late Mr Sata was a mad man? And today, Dora Siliya can say, ‘Tongas are against us!’ Who is us? Who is she describing as us? Who is us? Can she tell us who is us?” Hichilema questioned.

“To me, the ‘us’ is the corrupt like her and her friends and the brutal ones, that is ‘us.’ Now them, they are the minority because there is no one who is happy with what is happening today. All of us must drift on the right side of history, that is my message for Dora Siliya. I think Dora is tired, she has been Minister, she has been living off tax payers’ money for too long, she thinks tax payers belong to her; she thinks this country belongs to her? This country belongs to all Zambians. One of our critical duties is to reunite this country, which has been divided by PF.”

And Hichilema described PF as a brutal, dictatorial regime which was bent on oppressing citizens through government institutions.

“What is happening is a PF plan to disenfranchise citizens, to frighten citizens, to oppress citizens using State instruments, State institutions, such as the police, the courts of law and other governmental institutions. It is clear for everybody to see what we have been talking about for a long time that PF is a dictatorship, PF is brutal. This is it for you to see, like many things we have told you in the past, that the economy will be damaged, here we are, the economy is damaged. Of late, it’s not just (Patrick) Mucheleka’s, it is not just (Romeo) Kang’ombe, it is not just Bwalya, there are 28 or 38 people, who were arrested on Independence Day in Chingola when they were celebrating their independence. They are in detention, on the Independence Day, they are in detention, they were celebrating in their own style because there is no style how you celebrate independence, you celebrate it in your own style. I celebrated it myself by issuing that independence message so why am I not arrested? Why arrest our 48 or so members in Chingola who are still in detention today,” he wondered.

“This is why we need change, this is a dictatorship we need to get rid of, but we will only do that by uniting as a people as we have always done in the time of need. Where we are now there is no middle-ground: you are either against the people, and if you are against the people, you are part of PF; you are part of the corruption; you are part of the detentions; you are part of the brutality going on. That means you are part of PF. That is one side, the bad side; the good is that you are on the side of the people; the genuine churches; the UPND; the well-meaning civil societies. So, there are no three sides here, there are only two sides; those who are against the people, who are the PF and their surrogates and their corrupt and you are on the right side of the people and history: the UPND, the churches, Christian faith, other religions. As it is, the side of the people is bigger than the side of the crooks, the side of the ‘Mwakoles,’ the side of the corrupt and the brutal. People must not be afraid to stand on the right side of the people where we all are the UPND and others. Time to decide has come and this is it.”

He said it was disappointing that PF had started attacking victims.

“We know the scheme where you are a victim, you are UPND, and if you are Kambwili, you are given bail, where have you seen bail conditions like this on earth? Bail conditions like for Kang’ombe where? To arrest Bwalya for what? Kang’ombe was a victim, their aggressors are known. This is a dictatorship to what we warned the people of Zambia. Everything we have told you, we predicted it, it has happened, it has come to pass. So, PF knows that they have lost popularity, they have no support, they have destroyed everything! People are hurting in homes and young graduates are walking the streets two, three years after graduating without jobs. Marketeers are not getting any sales. They are not making any money from their trade because people have no money; many homes in the compounds go to bed without food. These are the clear messages written on the wall that PF has failed. We predicted this a long time ago and I believe those that didn’t believe us now have no reason not to believe us. There is only one way, people need change, we, Zambians, must agree: we need change now!” Hichilema stressed.

“I say to the people of Zambia, you have a rare opportunity to redeem yourselves across the country. How do you redeem yourself? Change must come and change will come if you get your National Registration Cards (NRCs); please go and get your registration cards, register as voters when registration opens, on the voting day 12th of August, let’s turn out to vote in big numbers, then, lastly, protect your vote at all cost. Do not allow anyone to take away your vote, that is how you effect change.”

Hichilema warned that Zambia was doomed if they gave the PF another five-year mandate next year.

“If the PF continues to rule this country after 2021, another five year of this mess; of this brutality; of this hunger; of this unemployment; of this destruction in businesses, where will Zambia be? Where will families be? Let a family of eight to 10 think of its situation, where will you be another five years of the PF’s destruction and oppression and violence? Where will we be? We will all be finished! We have nothing to lose anymore because citizens have lost everything, so we can only gain, and that gain can only come through change. Change which will restore the destroyed economy; change, which will offer jobs for our people; change, which will revive agriculture so that people can have affordable food in their homes, change that will protect us from the PF violence by reintroducing the rule of law and order; change where media freedoms will be respected, media houses will not be shut,” said Hichilema.

“So, change is needed now and this change can only be brought by the UPND working with other formations and working with the people of Zambia. This is the time that Zambians must know that we should have unity of purpose and that is the way we will achieve change, so that we can bring back order in our country. UPND is the flagship we should use.”