By Charles Kakoma, UPND Spokesperson.
The UPND wishes to join all Zambians in celebrating the Heroes and Unity days. These are important holidays to commemorate our heroes who fought to liberate this country and to remind us of the importance of unity in the struggle to achieve our goals. We are not sure that there is a tally of how many Zambians died in the struggle for independence , suffice to say that many a life were sacrificed for us to enjoy the freedoms associated with independence. Men and women who put the country before self.
It therefore disheartens the UPND that the freedoms that were forged in blood require that more blood be poured to protect them under the misrule of a dictatorial regime. How many Zambian lives have been lost on the political field under the Patriotic Front (PF) as citizens demand their right to share the political space in an effort to exercise their democratic right to choose a leadership of their choice? Who would have thought that after 56 years of independence, more Zambians have to sacrifice their lives so that others are not disfranchised. We ask all Zambians regardless of political dispensation to self-introspect in this regard. Is a leadership that has no qualms in letting citizens panga each other so that they can ascend to political power a leadership that Zambians deserve?
How many Zambians can today stand up and claim that the PF leadership is synonymous with a heroic leadership. Put differently, who is a hero. A hero is a feisty person who serves others with a selfless motive that gives birth to great achievements. Does PF fit this bill? These are people who have reversed socio-economic achievements that were handed down to Zambians by previous governments due to very selfish corrupt tendencies of Kleptocracy.
Coming to the issue of unity, Zambians have never been as divided as they have become under the PF misrule. On this day, the UPND wishes to celebrate all the different ethnicities that define Zambia for we are indeed one. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all products of the true heroes who bequeathed us our independence. Under the PF all the negative isms that our true heroes fought against at independence are back. Zambians cannot effectively participate in the economic space if one is not a member of the PF or related to one. We have a cabinet and captains of industry that are dominated by two regions at the expense of regions and over 60 other ethnicities. It has become stylish for the PF leadership to try and outdo each other in chastising and ridiculing members of a certain region in Zambia all because one person who hails from that region is trying to exercise his democratic right to run for the highest office in the land while the President looks the other way in violation of the oath of office which demands that he upholds and protects the Constitution of Zambia. Anyway, maybe we are asking too much of President Edgar Lungu as this is a man who refused to hand over office to the Speaker of the National Assembly as demanded by the Constitution when the election results were being contested in court. This is a man who presides over a cabinet that has defied a court order to refund state resources which they illegally got when Parliament was dissolved in 2016.
Under the PF regime, many innocent Zambians have lost their jobs in the public sector because of originating from certain regions of the country or bearing names that are associated with these regions. Indeed, many Zambians have lost opportunities of being employed or appointed or promoted in the public service because of regionalism and tribalism. The country is more divided today than at the time of independence. At the UPND Secretariat, we have been receiving so many complaints of people being victimised at work places based on tribalism and regionalism. Many innocent Zambians have been retired in national interest. No real reasons are given for people being retired in national interest. President Edgar Lungu has failed to unite this country. The national motto of One Zambia One Nation has been thrown to the wind.
As we commemorate this Heroes and Unity period, the UPND remembers all the heroes who fought to liberate and unite this country over 50 years ago as there is nothing to celebrate today under the PF, a government which shamelessly upholds the rights of foreigners over those of its citizens; a government that unleashes a minister to go and publicly embarrass a citizen who stands up to free his fellow citizens who were being caged in containers by foreigners. Shame on the ruling party.
Happy Unity and Heroes day to all Zambians. Remember that we are stronger together. Together, no earthly force is big enough to stand in our quest for economic and political emancipation. Together we will Fix It.