FORMER national guidance and religious affairs minister Godfridah Sumaili has described the continued investigation of PF members as a witch-hunt and oppression.

And Sumaili says former president Edgar Lungu should be given the respect he deserves because he qualifies to be called the father of the nation.

Commenting on the recent investigation carried out by the police at former PF national chairperson Samuel Mukupa’s Mporokoso farm and at Lungu’s former economic advisor Hibeene Mwiinga’s farm near Mwembeshi area, Sumaili said the continued harassment of PF members was unacceptable.

“Let us stop witch-hunting, we should stop witch-hunting, we should stop oppressing people unnecessarily. Remember we are all Zambians, this is our country, people should not be under affliction. Yes, do your investigation where you feel there should be an investigation but to continuously oppress people thinking all over, and you are finding nothing, just to put people under affliction, that is totally unacceptable and it has to be stopped. We want to see peace in the nation, we want to see unity in the nation,” she said.

And Sumaili said Zambians wanted peace and unity.

“The thing is that the people of Zambia want peace and unity in the nation. We are a peace loving people and the issue of national unity becomes so very important. We should not just be talking in our mouths, let us make it practical. Let us be real and it is incumbent upon those that are in leadership to give an example to the rest of the nation. People want to see our leaders loving each other, people want to see our leaders united. That is why when people saw former president Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the current President walking together at the funeral, it has been very encouraging to all of us. This is what it should be,” she said.

“Let me say this, we have to respect each other. There has to be respect, true respect for each other. Once we the leaders start respecting each other, then even the people that we are leading will also respect even those that are in leadership, and even respect each other. That is what will bring about that unity and that peace in the nation. So it is very encouraging to see what happened, let it continue, let us give respect where it is due.”

When asked if Lungu qualified to be called the father of the nation, Sumaili said “absolutely”.

“Absolutely, he is the only surviving former president, he has led this nation. You know, let us learn and honour our leaders while they are alive. He has led this nation, he has done so much for this nation. Let us honour him. He is a statesman, he is a father [of] the nation, let us give him that honour and respect. It is part of our culture of honouring the elderly. It will contribute to unity in the nation and to peace in the nation,” said Sumaili.

“Former president Edgar Chagwa Lungu is now the only surviving president, he needs to be respected. He needs to be honoured [and] respected. Even as we are respecting the current President, leaders should not allow the people that are following us to insult other leaders, that is totally unacceptable. That is not part of our culture, that is not part of who we are as a Christian nation. Let us respect the elderly, it is very important.”