Following the disruption of a Radio Program, hosting UPND leader, Mr Hakainde Sammy Hichilema by SUSPECTED PF cadres in isoka, Mr Sammy has gone on rampage branding the ruling party as a terrorist organization that is averse to freedom of the press and press freedom.
From the outset, let me make a few things clear:
1. What happened in isoka is wrong and must be condemned by all well meaning Zambians.
2. Government and the Patriotic Front through Hon. Dora Siliya and Deputy Secretary General, Hon. Mumbi Phiri respectively have unequivocally condemned that unfortunate incident.
3. From time immemorial, violence has been a problematic part of our politics and it will take ALL, not SOME of us to cleanse our politics from this barbaric stain.
However, it must be made clear here that Mr. Hakainde Sammy Hichilema and the UPND have no moral right to cry to the high heavens, condemning others on violence against the media because they are serial offenders in as far as violence and brutality against the media and those who do not agree with them is concerned.
UPND is a violent party that needs to redeem itself from the stain and sin of violence by repenting and reforming. To prove my assertion, here are SOME of the violent trails of UPND:
1. ON May 4, 2005, the UPND held a press conference were they launched the infamous Mapatizya Formula, a violent and evil plan that involved the beating, maiming and killing of MMD supporters and leaders. The UPND organised a ‘militia’ that attacked government vehicles, impounded food supply convoys and harassed government ministers and caused wanton mayhem against the MMD camp.
The Mapatizya Formula that the UPND has continued to use to this day, involves the disregard of the law and the taking of the law in their own hands. It also encourages the use of violence and civil disobedience.
2. On February 6, 2017, Brian Hapunda was brutally beaten by UPND cadres in Nega Nega for merely belonging to PF.
3. On May 24, 2006, Vernon Mwaanga and his driver were beaten and assaulted by UPND cadres when they went to deliver a message of condolences at the funeral of the late Anderson Mazoka.
4. In 2016, in Namwala, PF members were mercilessly attacked by UPND cadres for merely celebrating President Edgar Lungu’s electoral victory.
5. On December 5, 2019 UPND cadres opened fire and shot six PF cadres in Mpulungu.
6. In 2016, UPND cadres assaulted and crippled Charity Kabongomana, the then FDD parliamentary candidate for Namwala Constituency.
7. On 27 July, 2015 UPND cadres went to Cresta Golfview Hotel and brutally assaulted Chilufya Tayali who was having a press briefing there.
8. On October 17, 2018, Chilufya Tayali was again a victim of the UPND’s endemic violent culture when he was beaten by UPND cadres right at the court were he had gone to appear in a case in which Mr Hakainde Sammy Hichilema had sued Tayali for defamation.
9. On 28th March, 2017 UPND cadres harassed and beat journalists Silumesi Malumo and Prisca Lumingu from Radio Phoenix and Millenium Radio at the UPND Party Secretariat in Rhodespark when they went to cover Mr. Sammy’s press briefing.
10. On 25th May, 2015 UPND officials harassed and verbally assaulted Rogers Kalero a Daily Nation reporter on the Copperbelt.
11. On 24 May, 2006, a photojournalist from Times of Zambia, Richard Mulongo was harassed and chased from covering a UPND press briefing at their party secretariat.
12. On March 18, 2016, UPND cadres went to Sky FM Radio in Moonze and brutally beat Fr Frank Bwalya who was featuring on a live radio program.
I can go on and on citing evidence of UPND violence but for now this suffices.
Clearly, UPND have no moral right whatsoever to masquerade as angels when they are serial offenders of violence. It is time for ba Sammy and UPND to be honest about their violent culture and come forward and hold hands with everyone to help root out the cancer of violence in our politics instead of trying to come out as angels when they are in fact not.