MMD Denounces PF Lawlessness in Masaiti
The following press release was distributed by MMD:
The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) has condemned the disturbances fueled by unruly PF cadres that have emerged in Masaiti District following the MMD win in the Chinondo Ward by-election on Tuesday 19th August 2014.
Media reports carried on Muvi TV and Times of Zambia reported that PF cadres run amok when MMD supporters and sympathisers flooded the streets of Masaiti District in a celebratory frenzy late on Tuesday night upon learning of the MMD candidate Shadreck Chitafu’s victory. It is reported that the following day, PF cadres harassed and intimidated the District Commissioner, Joseph Mwambana accusing him of participating in the MMD victory celebrations and locked his office. Muvi TV captured PF cadres on camera chanting “Mwambana, Go!” and accusing Civil Servants of being against the PF government. (The link to the Muvi TV Video is here: http://youtu.be/d_Q60xskjDc).
MMD Copperbelt Acting Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary Mr. Peter Phiri has strongly condemned the unbecoming behaviour of the PF cadres and cautioned the Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Reverend Howard Sikwela who is now making intimidating threats to Council Workers who participated in the celebrations that ‘they are biting the hand that feeds them’ and ‘attacking the goose that lays the golden egg.’ He has also denounced the common unruly practice by PF cadres of locking up government offices with impunity every time things go against them and demanded that it should stop immediately.
“Council offices are government institutions not PF property. The PF should realize that this ‘cadreism’ is what is alienating the PF from the Zambian people,” said Mr. Peter Phiri.
Mr. Phiri has reminded Rev. Sikwela that Zambia is a democratic country which espouses and embraces freedom of expression and it makes no sense for PF to inhibit people from freely expressing their happiness over an election result. He reminded Rev. Sikwela that when PF won the 2011 elections, there where spontaneous celebrations all over the country as people freely expressed their delight at removing the MMD from power. There was no one in MMD that tried to control, inhibit or threaten anyone who celebrated as it was their democratic right.
“The people of Masaiti District are Zambians who should be free to express their delight at MMD winning that Ward by-election. The unfortunate bigger picture of this is that PF has continued, unrepentant, with their escalating tendencies of autocratic dictatorship which they introduced from their first month in power in October 2011. The saddest part of all this is that they are actually becoming worse by the day and I shudder to imagine where Zambia shall be another year from now”, said Mr. Phiri.
“The PF should not be surprised that people are beginning to celebrate any PF loss because they are feeling the full impact of the poor PF leadership when they see high mealie-prices, high fuel prices and the escalating cost of living. People have quickly realized that the PF 2011 campaigns and ‘pro-poor’ platform were empty and deceitful. Zambians can see the beautiful roads quite alright. But how are they managing to deal with the everyday issue of the sky-rocketing cost of living?
PF should realize that civil servants, including council workers, have been cruelly trapped between a job freeze and a wage freeze with no relief in sight. People have been left to fend for themselves as if there is no government in place. The PF Government must begin to see that the spontaneous celebrations after the MMD by-election win is a warning sign that all is not well.”
“I appeal to our supporters in Masaiti and indeed the country at large, to carry the MMD spirit of peace, democracy, tolerance, orderliness and good behavior. Let us continue to debate our strengths everywhere; that MMD stands on politics of honesty, integrity, multi-party democracy and intelligent issued-based political campaigns. We strongly oppose politics of violence, burning bridges, pangas, insults and mudslinging. These things have no place in the modern politics of MMD.”
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