UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says the UPND government will not keep quiet for fear of being accused of not liking criticism.

Commenting on Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Sunday Chanda’s remarks that the UPND government was in defence mode and believes it cannot be criticised, Imenda said the UPND administration would not sit back while critics wrongly criticize them for things that do not exist.

He said the UPND government had opened the public media to the opposition so that they could express themselves.

“If there is anything that the Kanchibiya member of parliament knows better, it is criticizing. He has specialised in the art of attacking, ridiculing and calling people all sorts of names. Today when he says what he is saying it is just laughable because if there was one person who we have known to be the best spin doctor Zambia has ever produced, it is the member of parliament for Kanchibiya. So now he is having the taste of his own medicine. That is why we have opened the public media to the opposition. We have opened the Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and the entire ZNBC for the opposition to express themselves but we will not sit back being wrongly criticized for things that do not exist,” Imenda said.

“We will not keep quiet for fear of being accused of not liking to be opposed or criticized. So to show them for the first time since independence, these public media have been opened to the opposition to let them voice out, something which was almost impossible during the time when the member of parliament for Kanchibiya was the chief spin doctor of the PF. All we used to hear about is former president Edgar Lungu and vice president Inonge Wina all the way but today they can be covered. Given Lubinda called a press conference and he was well covered and that should show how much we are criticized.”

And on concerns by some CSOs that the UPND Alliance government should not maneuver to undermine the voice of the opposition by creating a supermajority parliament in view of the many parliamentary election petitions, Imenda said when a crime was committed, it had to be corrected.

“The logic dictates that when a crime is committed it has to be corrected. I would say that it is not only UPND which has sued but we have been sued in many places, including in Eastern and Northern Provinces as well as many other places. Those people that have sued us believe that they have been wronged and they want remedy to come from the courts of law. We have in the same vein done the same. Let the courts of law dictate because we believe that courts are independent,” said Imenda.

“If wrong complaints have been tabled before them, they will tell the nation that these cases have no merit at all. So it is not for me to come out with the judgment of whether or not the people who have sued are right or wrong. The people that can determine that are the legal experts and in this case they are the courts of law. The civil society organisations are entitled to their opinion but maybe let them allow the courts to determine whether the cases have merit or not.”