By Bennie Mundando
THE Patriotic Front (PF) must stop fooling Zambians with disguised campaigns against COVID-19 when they are in top gear campaigning for re-election ahead of the 2021 polls, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has demanded.
And the NDC want an explanation from Inspector General of police Kakoma Kanganja as to why his officers saw it fit to cancel the planned peaceful protest by the opposition last week yet they have given the PF a go-ahead to hold a rally in Ndola.
This Saturday, October 17, 2020, the PF Copperbelt provincial mobilisation committee will hold what it has termed a COVID-19 sensitization rally in Ndola where leaders will also share the PF developmental agenda for 2021 and beyond to be addressed by committee chairperson, Bowman Lusambo.
According to the advert, the party has also invited South African singers Master KG and Mafikizolo who will light up the stage alongside local artistes such as Yo Maps, Chanda na Kay, among others, at the event to be held at Ndola’s Musa Kasonka stadium.
But speaking to The Scoop this afternoon, NDC deputy national chairperson for mobilisation, Fabian Mutale, said the PF has for a long time taken Zambians for a ride but warned that time will come for those trampling on the rights of citizens to face consequences.
He wondered where the PF was to hold COVID-19 sensitization campaigns when the pandemic was ravaging the country that they can only see it fit now when it has receded to hold such rallies.
Mr. Mutale says even if their rally was genuinely for COVID-19 sensitization, Mr. Lusambo was a wrong person to go and sensitize people when the country has trained medical personnel that could have held such a rally.
“The PF is campaigning everywhere. They are hiding in the name of inspecting developmental projects and now they want to use COVID-19 as a cover. In which capacity will Mr. Lusambo talk about COVID-19 on the Copperbelt if it is not for political aggrandisement?
“Mr. Lusambo is just a provincial minister for Lusaka in terms of Government portfolio but from a political perspective, he is going there as mobilisation chairperson. He has no medical qualification and so, the only drive behind this is campaigning for the PF yet when we ask for any gathering, police block us,” Mr. Mutale said.
Mr. Mutale has appealed to Mr. Kanganja and his subordinates against playing to the political gallery each time the PF want to hold political gatherings, saying the unprofessionalism exhibited by the police will not go unpunished when they leave office.
“All senior police officers must realise that nothing lasts forever. The same junior police officers they are ever unleashing on the opposition today will be used against them when the PF is long gone. We have never had such a partisan police service since independence like the case is now under Mr. Kanganja where everything the opposition does must be blocked.
“We don’t even care to know if the PF has a permit for that event or not because the police simply do anything they are told to do. This is why a cadre is more respected in this country than a police officer. A PF cadre can break the law with impunity any day and when officers try to bring sanity, they are fired,” he complained.
He says Zambia has degenerated into a state where the law is applied selectively.
“If the opposition tomorrow say they want to hold a COVID-19 sensitization rally, will Mr. Kanganja and his subordinates give them a go-ahead? This country’s laws were crafted long ago before the PF came into power and must not be regarded as a privilege for other citizens but a right.
“What democracy is the PF bragging about when they are gagging the opposition? If they are strong as they claim, why are they blocking us from mobilizing? We only have one reminder for them; Zambians are not stupid. The day of reckoning is coming when those who are making them to be stiff-necked will be running for their lives. We are watching them,” he warned.