ARCHBISHOP Telesphore Mpundu says the ruling PF is demonising the opposition and slapping them up with trumped up criminal charges so that they fail to stand at next year’s general election.

In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu predicted that after targeting convicted NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili, the next target would be UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.

“The political party in power is demonising the opposition. It started with Chishimba Kambwili and then anything else will happen to someone else…probably next in line is Hakainde Hichilema. They want to take out all the opposition and intimidate the whole populous with violence using cadres. To rig the elections, it is not enough to just stuff the ballot boxes, you touch where it hurts; the Constitution. Then you demonise the opposition, once they are trumped up with criminal charges, they can’t stand,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

He said that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was playing a dangerous game by changing the voters’ roll and not extending the registration process.

“There is another strategy that they are using; change the voters’ roll. We have a voters’ roll that has been there for 11 years, now we have to start from scratch! They want to disenfranchise as many people as possible. And once they have done that, we are going to have a minority government. Because, then, few people are going to vote. People are scared to go out there to demonstrate; they will be run over by those [military] trucks they bought, we know. This place is not going to be a peaceful place because the government in power is an evil government,” he cautioned.

“How can we register voters in the coming few weeks of nine million voters? Is that possible? The ECZ has not given any reason why it desires to do that. And even if they are given all the logistics, the time is too short. What they want is a few voters going there. In a few weeks, we are going to have the rainy season; people will have difficulties accessing all these administrative places. It is wrong! This is going to cause more tension in the country. They are playing a very dangerous game!”

And Archbishop Mpundu bemoaned that there was nothing good he could commend government for because everything they were doing was wrong.

“There is nothing at all that I can commend them for. They are doing everything wrong so why should I commend them? To commend them for things they are giving to people in form of developmental whatever, these are bribes for wanting to bring back the Bill 10, which is dead! I don’t need to be UPND for me to speak the truth. I don’t need to be in partisan politics for me to speak my mind. ECZ is being bullied, there is nothing right that they are doing. All these incidents of corruption, you want me to commend them for corruption? No way!” exclaimed Archbishop Mpundu.