SEVEN opposition political parties have raised concern over what they term as a breakdown in the rule of law, escalating cost of living and selective justice in the country.
They said this during a joint opposition political party media briefing which was held by the Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba, Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo, NDC president Saboi Imboela, People’s Alliance for Change president Andyford Banda.
Others were EFF president Kasonde Mwenda, UBZ president Hector Soondo and New Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka.
Speaking at the briefing, Kalaba said there had been selective justice since UPND assumed office.
“There has been selective justice which has been rampant since the coming of the UPND regime. During the past five months, since the ascendance of the UPND to the Republican Presidency of governance, we have noted a significant increase of cases of selective justice. The Inspector General of Police Mr Lemmy Kajoba is very lenient on UPND members, the supporters and sympathisers of UPND. While at the same time being extremely unruly and very harsh when it comes to non-UPND members, supporters and sympathisers. This is a very regrettable endeavour,” Kalaba said.
“One case in point is the recent arrest of Mr Raphael Nakacinda for allegedly threatening violence while on a campaign trail in Kabwata on a very flimsy statement that he made. Whereas the national youth chairperson Gilbert Liswaniso blatantly threatened violence against anyone who opposes violence and the police decided to look the other way. For Nakacinda, it was convenient to pounce on him, for Liswaniso, they were in a meeting. This administration has been applying selective justice like in the recent firing of the Western Province deputy permanent secretary Henry Imbuwa for breach of financial regulations.”
He said the fight against corruption appeared to be vengeful.
“After a snap audit, they established he (Imbuwa) had fraudulently signed for a huge allocation of public funds to his advantage. Up to now no criminal charges have been laid against him and yet on the other hand, the former Secretary to the Treasury Mr Fredson Yamba was quickly arrested for the same alleged offense and Yamba is in hot water. The fight against corruption appears to be vengeful against certain individuals. For instance, the Lusaka businessman and political activist Mr Maxwell Chongo had his bank accounts seized about four months ago by the Drug Enforcement Commission up until now his property and bank account still remain seized and yet he has not been charged with any crime,” said Kalaba.
“We have reasons to believe that the UPND is using state institutions to fix perceived political opponents as well as those against them and they are holding a vendetta emanating from the time that they were in opposition. It is now time to settle scores for them. This is time to fix problems, not time to begin settling scores. It has also come to our attention that the fight against corruption is only concentrated on these people who left power recently, the former regime and that they appear to have no appetite, the current regime to fight corruption in their own administration.”
And Tembo said the Head of State should come out clearly on a leaked audio that involved Special Assistant to the President for politics Levy Ngoma and Home Affairs and Internal Security Josephs Akafumba.
“We wish to challenge the President to come out clearly on this matter because he is personally implicated. He needs to come out clearly. So far, we have had denials from the spokesperson to the chief government spokesperson but what is missing is a clear and categorical denial of the people involved. There are four people involved in this particular scandal, that is Mr Levy Ngoma, Mr Josephs Akafumba, the Vice-President Madam Mutale Nalumango and the Republican President. None of these four people have come forward to deny this audio. As of now, we are taking it that the audio is authentic, we wish to demand the Republican President should tender an unconditional apology to the Zambian people,” said Tembo.
Meanwhile, Banda challenged President Hichilema to take action against Liswaniso for inciting violence.
“The UPND are so complacent, hence the reason they are talking about there is no opposition. We would like to challenge President Hakainde Hichilema to take action with his youth chairperson Gilbert Liswaniso regarding the video that has surfaced and clearly indicated that he was going to take the law into his own hands. We would like to challenge President Hakainde to show us that he means well and he is different from the past by making sure that those indisciplined party cadres are disciplined. After this meeting, we shall send these concerns to State House to ensure that we get a formal response from the President and we demand action,” said Banda.
“If Inspector General Lemmy Kajoba has failed, he must also stand down. He has been given full authority to deal with the issue of political violence. We want to challenge President HH not to be complacent, not to go to sleep thinking that there is no opposition. Thinking that people can do as they wish because there is no opposition.”
And Kateka expressed concern over President Hichilema’s resistance to move to Nkwazi House.
“We have noted with increasing sadness the failure to distinguish by the Republican President between his personal matters and matters of the state. The issue at hand is his refusal to shift to Nkwazi House. The community house is his personal house which is now used to attend to matters of the state. It presents a unique risk of institutionalized corruption and state capture because now meetings that should be held in state institutions are being held in personal houses. And it ought not to be so. We need to take this very seriously. I am not too sure whether our friends in leadership are aware that the cost of living has gone up drastically over the last five months. This was not what the Zambians were promised nor what they voted for. Higher cost of fuel, mealie- meal prices have gone up,” said Kateka.
“Mr President, can you spend more time in the country and ensure that the lives of the people you are leading are more comfortable. Going to bring in investors is good but however before doing that it’s very important to work on the dynamics at home to provide an enabling environment for both the local investors.”