Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba has called on the government to avail to the public reasons why Zambia voted along with 141 nations at the UN emergency meeting to reprimand Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
He has challenged the government to state if it has departed from its long-held non-aligned stance when it joined others Countries to vote against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demanded that Moscow stop fighting and withdraw its military forces.
Mr. Kalaba said Russia has been a true friend of Zambia and the two countries have been collaborating in various areas of interest with Zambia buying military equipment and fertilizer from Russia.
He said the government could have taken a neutral stance as opposed to voting against Russia.
And Patriotic Front PF Members of Parliament have accused The UPND administration of President Hakainde Hichilema of departing from Zambia’s non-aligned foreign policy.
Hon Ronald Chitole and Hon Miles Sampa both PF MPs said Zambia’s decision to vote for a United Nations resolution against Russia’s aggression on Ukraine may have ramifications on bilateral relations with Moscow which have existed since 1964.
They said at Different times in Parliament that the former ruling Party PF is shocked at Government’s shift in its foreign policy without consulting the people of Zambia through Parliament prompting hence the points of order from Hon Chitotela and Hon Sampa.
However, UPND’s government critic, opposition Patriots for Economic Progress(PEP) leader Sean Tembo, has backed Zambia’s vote at the recent United Nations emergency general assembly saying a wrong must be condemned wherever it manifests itself.
Commenting on this development, Mr. Tembo said that Zambia cannot just look at a country invading another country and causing so much destruction and loss of lives on the basis of flimsy excuses.
He says Zambia should be a courageous and proud nation with strong principles and moral values and was therefore on firm ground to vote to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at the United Nations.
In a statement, Mr. Tembo said that if as a result of Zambia’s vote to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, Russia gets upset and decides to close their embassy in Zambia, they should go ahead.