MPOROKOSO member of parliament Brian Mundubile says Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu’s conscience is not clear because he is trying to paint a picture which is different from reality regarding persecution of PF members.
And Mundubile says PF members have accepted that they are in the opposition and UPND must learn from their mistakes.
Commenting on Mwiimbu’s remarks that it was coincidental that most people who were being probed were from PF, Mundubile said it was unfortunate that former ministers were being dragged like common criminals.
“I think that comrade Mwiimbu even as he was saying that, his conscience was not clear because what is happening is free for all to see. You have petty cases to start with, let us start with offences that happened five, six years ago, a former minister is dragged like a common criminal. The youth chairman for the UPND proposes violence to all Zambians, he has never been called. My position is that as leaders when we speak, we must speak authoritatively. When we know that what we are saying might end up embarrassing us, it is also advisable not to say anything so that as leaders we maintain our integrity. William Banda proposes violence nothing happens to him, youths go on video to threaten Nakacinda, they are not called to any police station. If that alone does not amount to political persecution then what is political persecution?” he asked.
Mundubile said it was shocking that PF members were questioned over private contracts and loan agreements.
“When we are saying these are targeted arrests, targeted investigations, we know exactly what we are talking about. Members of the PF are called for private contracts, loan agreements and they are questioned, private money. Because in his statement he talked about public money or public resources. Our acting president was called over a loan agreement with a private individual or a private company. For me, I am saying these are some of the examples, so the Zambian people are following these events keenly. So when they read what honourable Minister of Home Affairs has said, they also refer to this case and many more to understand what he meant. I am sure they are finding it very difficult to understand,” he said.
Mundubile said the continued arrests of PF members was a hindrance to democracy.
“What is needed going forward is first of all for government to seriously respect the independence of these institutions. For as long as there is a hand or an invisible hand which is forcing these institutions to act under duress, we have traveled that journey before, let these institutions work quietly. Let them come up with evidence such that by the time they are expecting these arrests, they have got a good case. For those that [they] don’t have good evidence, they just leave them and we never get to know about them. So when we get to know about the case it must be a good case, not as the case is now. For us as the PF what we know is that the attempt through the police and other investigative wings only goes to injure the democracy that we fought for. It is not possible to silence politicians like they are trying to do now, it is not possible. Look, you can kill the messenger but you can’t kill the message. All we are [saying] is that we are just good messengers that is it. If you listen to what we are doing, we are providing objective politics devoid of insults,” he said.
And Mundubile said the UPND government should learn from the mistakes of the PF.
“The difference between us and them is that for us we have accepted that we have a new President in the name of President Hakainde Hichilema and we respect him as such. In their case, they did not even respect our president and as a result of that, there were a lot of problems and complications. For us, we have accepted that we are in the opposition and we take up our role to provide checks and balances. We are doing that objectively not for the sake of arguing. So what our friends must do, they must take advantage of that and also learn from some of our experiences, they should avoid some of the mistakes that we made and be able to be on the correct path. They were given the majority mandate, 2.8 million that is a good number, but the way they are going about things, it may not be very long before they regret most of these things,” he said.
“We have no business interfering with those investigations, they should just be done objectively. An ordinary observer must see that ‘yes they are just doing a commendable job’, but the moment citizens begin to doubt, then that should be a worry on their part, it means there is something they are not doing right. They have an opportunity to redeem themselves, they have an opportunity to accept that there is a party in opposition, but which will do much better than they did in opposition. What they did in opposition was just to make it impossible, to make things difficult.”
Meanwhile, Mundubile said the fight against corruption should be done in the background because it was destroying families.
“This political persecution where people are victimized, people are lumped [with] all sorts of charges, is not going to take them anywhere. If at all they are fighting corruption, we agree let that happen in the background, instead of them going on the screens destroying families, people’s reputations because there is no evidence. That is why it is becoming difficult to arrest someone, they can’t give them bond, yet the President said within 24 hours to 48 hours someone will be given bond. People have been there for two weeks, people have been there for five days, what is the explanation for that,” said Mundubile.
“The law is very clear that arrests should only be made for offences and not for inquiries. So if the police know that very well and the President has pronounced on that, are we saying that the officers under Jack Mwiimbu are deliberately disrespecting the President’s directive? Is that the position? So is there an invisible hand? Are there some silent whispers, after the President speaks, there is somebody who goes to speak to these officers? Who should that person be then? Because the most powerful man in the land is the President. Why is [it] that his directives are disrespected by the police officers?”