The Patriotic Front (PF) has questioned opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s sincerity in of forgiving those who incarcerated him for 127 days on trumped up treason charges.
Chief Government Spokesperson Kapamba Mulenga reacting to Hichilema’s denouncing the PF government said she wonders whether the opposition leader was serious about dialogue and moving the country forward.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has charged that government was alarmed at the lies and falsehood peddled in that country at today’s press briefing in Cape Town.
Below is the press statement:
Pretoria – Thursday 31st August, 2017
The Zambian High Commission in South Africa has expressed concern at the utter lies and falsehood peddled against government by the Opposition members that are currently in South Africa.
During a joint press conference held by UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema and Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane in Capetown, various statements were carried live on SABC, were uttered.
The Zambian High Commission has stated that it was sad that a Zambia national could travel abroad and speak ill of the country, especially on remarks based on lies and falsehood.
Zambia’s High Commission to South Africa, His Excellency Emmanuel Mwamba said Zambian nationals that travel abroad are expected to honour their solemn duty and responsibility to the country.
He described claims by the United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema that Zambia was facing a break down in the rule of law, Judiciary and that the outcome of elections remain disputed or contested as lies and based on total fabrications.
Mr. Mwamba said Mr. Hichilema’s release from Prison together with his co-accussed was a demonstration of Zambia’s entrenched rule of law and a tested democracy.
He said the recent court acquittals of Mr. Hichilema’s Vice President, Goeffrey Bwalya Mwamba and his senior member, Obvious Mwaliteta demonstrated that the judiciary was extremely independent.
Mr. Mwamba was reacting to various claims made by Mr. Hichilema at a joint press with the Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane held in Cape Town South Africa today.
He said that Mr. Hichilema’s claim that there was no media freedom in Zambia as lies as there was a diversified and independent media with over 85 Radio stations and 15 Television stations including 10 Newspaper firms operating freely in Zambia.
Mr. Mwamba said the earlier in 2016 suspension of two radio stations and a TV station could therefore not be used to justify claims as the named stations were suspended and found liable for using and promoting hate speech.
On appeal and commitment to attend to the concerns the broadcast licenses were restored.
Mr. Mwamba further described Mr. Hichilema’s claims that the Zambian Parliament was raided by Police as a fabrication as no such incident has ever happened in Zambia.
He clarified that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu won last year’s election with a clear margin of over one hundred thousand votes representing a percentage of 50.35 after winning in seven of the 10 provinces of Zambia, contrary to Mr. Hichilema’s claim that he won by a mere 13,000 votes.
He further said the election of President Edgar Lungu in 2016 were pronounced and determined as credible by reputable local and international observers and the claims by Mr. Hichilema therefore remain unfounded.
Mr. Mwamba has since urged Mr. Hichilema to positively use his time in South Africa to help contribute towards Zambia’s development -and promote peace and unity than spreading falsehoods and tarnishing the image of the country.
He said Zambia was experiencing an economic boom with inflation rate at 6.5%, a stable exchange rate, a surplus crop harvest and a surging economic growth.
Mrs. Naomi Nyawali
First Secretary Press and Public Relations.
Zambia’s High Commission to South Africa.