“I want to tell you, provincial chairman and your team, avoid importing people and I will ensure that. SG, don’t send people from Lusaka to come here you, understand? Lusaka people you will not come here. I will not sanction anyone to come from Lusaka to come and interfere with your operations during the campaigns, it is your campaign. We already know the strategy of our colleague in UPND, which is to make sure that in 2021 there is violence all over! Nga wabashina panono (And when you pinch them just a bit) they start saying ‘PF is violent’,” said President Edgar Lungu when he visited the Copperbelt less than a fortnight ago.
As fate would have it, a week later, a truck from Mansa overturned in Mwense in the process of ferrying PF cadres to attend President Lungu’s campaign event and the Patriotic Front refuses to take responsibility.
“PF has learnt with sadness the road traffic accident in Mwense earlier today. The reported accident happened in Mwense District as people made their way to witness the commissioning of the completed first-ever Mwense Trades Training Institute. Contrary to assertions by some sadists among us, the accident victims were not being ferried to a political rally. Bahati constituency and Mwense District are about 130 kilometres apart,” read the statement from the ruling party secretariat, as they condemned UPND for politicizing the accident instead of showing compassion.
This statement was suggesting that it was impossible for cadres to be ferried from the accident scene to where the President was having an event because there is 130 kilometres in between. If we may ask: what is the distance between Lusaka and Sesheke where the PF ferried cadres to go and cause havoc on the local people? What is the distance between Lusaka and Lundazi or Lusaka and Mufumbwe? Mr Sunday’s Chanda’s argument doesn’t hold water.
The PF is the number one culprit of ferrying cadres, in many instances using government vehicles and Zambia Air Force (ZAF) transport. We have seen PF cadres ferried to campaign rallies on GRZ number plates and ZAF choppers, so it is only reasonable that the ruling party takes responsibility when such a calamity strikes.
But even assuming that we are wrong and Mr Chanda is right about where the cadres were going, how does that make a difference? Are they telling us that there were not enough local people in the area where the Trades Training Institute was being commissioned who could witness the event? Why transport people from one town to another to attend the President’s event? This is very sad.
What is worse is that since the accident happened, there has not been a single statement from State House to wish the victims well; no statement from the police to explain what caused the accident, the identities of the victims and where they were going; no messages from the Mansa Central area member of parliament who also happens to be Minister of Health.
Actually, we wonder if Dr Chitalu Chilufya knows if there were any fatalities in the accident and which hospital the survivors are being treated from. Just like the rest of the PF leadership, they were too busy campaigning in Bahati to waste time on finding accident victims. They are now on their own.
We know that the government leadership is trying to distance itself from this matter because the accident has exposed the hypocrisy of the President! After ordering a stop to the ferrying of cadres, his own party has defied the directive and caused an accident in the process. Now they don’t know what to say.
But this silence from State House, Police and the Minister is also a statement confirming that these people in government are truly heartless with no sense of solitude. Even if those victims were going to church or to attend a traditional ceremony, how can our leaders ignore that accident as if it never happened?
If it was the UPND or NDC that was ferrying cadres and caused that accident, the opposition leadership was going to be tortured! In fact, just two days ago, when a UPND campaign team vehicle was involved in a road accident in the same area, police issued a statement within hours and announced that they had impounded the said vehicle. What kind of animosity is this?
Even in a dictatorship, leaders are supposed to have some semblance of shame! You can’t exhibit this level of evil, especially in a Christian nation. It is unfair to use people for political expedience and then distance yourself from their sufferings when misfortune happens.
We wish to say shame on you, President Lungu, shame on you, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja and shame on you Dr Chilufya! Look at that video of unconscious human beings – your cadres – crawling around like headless chickens on the accident scene, crying for help! How do you manage to swallow food in your throats knowing you caused that accident that you are running from? Witchcraft is not only flying on a broom to bewitch people, this is witchcraft of the worst kind!