UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says his party will not abandon former vice-president Dr Guy Scott despite his health challenges, adding that people like him need to be cherished because they never stole.
And Hichilema says he will not comment on Kambwili and his party issues adding that the greater part of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has agreed to a unified approach towards the August elections.
Meanwhile, Hichilema has urged President Edgar Lungu not to sign the Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill into law because it is draconian and oppressive to the Zambian people.
Speaking when he featured on Kabwe’s KNC Radio, Hichilema said Scott still had a lot of lessons to teach those who go to consult him because his mind has remained sound.
When asked about the state of Dr Guy Scott, Hishilema said he was of sound mind and promised that he would be taken care of and not abandoned when the UPND forms government.
“He is okay, I was with him last week, he is okay. Of course he is challenged in terms of health but God is keeping him going and he is receiving medication but those are private matters, I cannot talk about it but he is okay, his brain is sound and he has got a lot of lessons to teach all of us. Remember he was President of this country, Vice-President for some time and acting President for some time. We should respect him, I consult him, we consult. We will look after such people after August 12th because we will not abandon because they don’t steal, they are not thieves, they don’t flash cash like a few flamboyant people, a small number of people in PF, that’s not leadership, that’s being a thief. Guy Scott is not a thief, we must respect him and we do respect him,” Hichilema said.
he said Kambwili’s issues were internal to NDC and he did not want to discuss them, as the embattled NDC leader remained his brother.
“Zambians, open your eyes and ears, what is happening is unity of purpose, that is what has delivered this country from very difficult situations I talked about independence delivery, unity of purpose, talk about 1991 moving towards multi-partism, unity of purpose, 2001 rejecting third term, unity of purpose and now towards 12th August, unity of purpose. And the alliance together with the people of Zambia, the parties that are in the alliance are there and joined by civil society, joined by ordinary citizens, marketeers, drivers, joined by farmers. This is a broader coalition that we are talking about and when one colleague in a political party like NDC has issues, issues that have been discussed and have been agreed; and remember I do not comment on my brother’s situation, president Kambwili. The issues that he has are internal to the NDC. And as you have seen I have said nothing and I will continue saying nothing, all I know is that the greater part of the NDC through a discussion process, agreed to a unified approach towards the 12th of August 2021 elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hichilema promised that no media house will be shut during the reign of the UPND as Prime Television and The Post Newspaper will be allowed to reopen subject to the owners’ decision.
“Under UPND, no media will be shut, mark my word, no single media, radio station, the way Post was closed, the way Prime Television was closed, all of those will be allowed to operate and they will be allowed to reopen. Prime Television will come back subject to the owners’ decision, The Post if they want to return, they will return,” he said.
He added that President Lungu should not sign the Cyber Security Bill because it is oppressive to the media.
“But clearly there will be no cyber security Bill as it is and the law that this man wants to sign. I want to advise him, do not sign that cyber security law, it’s draconian, it’s oppressive to citizens in terms of their fundamental human and freedoms and also oppressive to the media. Already the media democratic space has been closed, why do you bring this cyber bill, don’t sign it. If he signs it, I want to tell you that this is a campaign issue, we are going to basically remove this law, come August 12th…we will reverse this cyber security bill which is meant to send people to jail for life for simply sharing information,” he added.
Hichilema further noted that the Cyber Security Bill was a reaction to the loss of Bill 10.
“This cyber security bill is a reaction of the PF after they lost Bill 10 because of the draconian provisions that they had in Bill 10, now that they lost, thank you to the members of parliament in the UPND, independent members of parliament and the three from PF who stood on the side of the people. So after they failed to deliver bill 10, they then moved on to the simple majority laws such as the cyber security bill which is punitive to hit the nail on the head. It is punitive, it is oppressive, it is going to lead people to jail and the people must reject it, such laws must be rejected,” said Hichilema.