CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
MINISTER of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has warned of stern action against individuals or groupings issuing statements that they do not recognise President Lungu as head of State.
Mr Kampyongo said the statement attributed to United Party for National Development (UPND) Southern Province publicity and information secretary Neto Halwabala that the party and people in the province do not recognise President Lungu is unlawful.
A group of youths led by Network for Young People Against Violence (NYPAV) executive director Moses Kalonde have reported Mr Halwabala to the police.
The minister said in an interview yesterday that appropriate pieces of legislation will be applied against Mr Halwabala once it is established that the provincial party leader issued the statement.
â€œIf indeed itâ€™s true that the party officialâ€™s claims are true, it is unlawful and as long as he lives anywhere in the republic of Zambia and whether he likes it or not, this country has one President who is well known,â€ Mr Kampyongo said.
The minister said the law will â€œvisitâ€ anyone issuing unlawful statements bordering on dividing the nation.
He said Government is working towards maintaining unity and peace in the country and that it is unacceptable for anyone to issue divisive statements.
â€œAppropriate pieces of legislation will be applied on him [Mr Halwabala] so that other citizens can learn from him. We will not condone such statements from any citizen that border on dividing the nation when as Government we are working to promote unity,â€ Mr Kampyongo cautioned.
And Patriotic Front (PF) deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya charged that the statements by the UPND arise from frustrations from failure to win elections.
â€œThe frustration arising from the fact that the UPND founder late Anderson Mazoka almost won the elections and yet the opposition political party is now moving in reverse. The frustration is being vented on President Lungu, who has nothing to do with their political ineptitude,â€ Mr Bwalya said.
He said in a separate interview yesterday that it is a fallacy for anyone to think that they can only have development if someone who hails from their region or tribe becomes republican President.
He advised the UPND to acknowledge President Lunguâ€™s leadership because the head of State was elected into office by majority Zambians.
Mr Bwalya urged the UPND to change their attitude because it does not inspire Zambians to vote for the opposition political party.
â€œIf they [UPND] do not change attitude, Zambians will fear to vote for them because they will be thinking that he [UPND president Hakainde Hichilema] will only develop Southern Province,â€ he said.
And NANCY SIAME reports that former UPND deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo says the refusal by the opposition party to recognise President Lungu as the legitimate President is making them irrelevant to the political dispensation.
Mr Lifwekelo said democracy is a collective undertaking that involves duties, obligations and responsibilities that bring leaders together and not divide them.
He said in a statement issued yesterday that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema must promote national unity and avoid dividing the nation which is multi-party.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka