New Heritage Party’s Response to Former President ECL’s Call to Opposition Political Parties.
29th October 2023
Former President Lungu, in making his comeback statement to politics, also made a very clear clarion call to Opposition Political Parties to unite in order to help the nation to tackle the growing mis-rule of the UPND Government and to the rebuilding of democracy in the nation.
It is very clear that those in power today, in their usual, immoral, brazen and divisive manner, are every day assaulting our democratic space, in one way or the other. They are shrinking the democracy in our nation by attacking the opposition through the destabilization of their Parties by incarceration of their leaders and or members, preventing political parties from holding public rallies and hence trampling on our rights to freedom of association and assembly. The press is being slowly but surely gagged and suffocated; just recently a journalist lost his job for merely taking a picture of people lining up for mealie meal , the IBA tried to control the content of a radio interview of Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa and threatened the journalist and owners of the radio station- the youth have not been spared as the youth leader of the Socialist Party has been arrested and slapped with very serious charges and even the Clergy has not been spared.
On 28th October 2022, we in the NHP issued a timely warning to the nation to the effect that Zambia was (and has continued to) sleep walking into a Police State. On 8th February 2023, we continued to warn the nation through our statement that “Dictatorship is slowly and quietly being entrenched in Zambia by UPND and President Hakainde Hichilema. on 18 June 2023, we continued to raise alarm in our statement on “Arbitrary Arrests”.
We have now been vindicated as other voices have now joined with ours as they too raise this alarm; these include the twelve (12) Civil Society Organizations that issued a Press Statement on 26th October 2023, headed “Joint CSO Press Statement on the Shrinking Space for Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly in Zambia”, an observation by Emeritus Bishop Telesphore Mpundu with regard to the shrinking democratic space and now, the former President also adding his voice.
It is this spectrum of issues that the New Heritage Party is concerned with and where we are in agreement with former President Lungu. These issues are what requires a united front of all of us – Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations, the Church and indeed every Zambian. We must, of necessity, all stand up and be counted.
What is at the core of that clarion call by the former President, is the recognition that unless the Opposition in this country is united, we may betray the people of Zambia in their quest to free themselves of this UPND misrule.
In view of the foregoing, the New Heritage Party accepts the invitation to work with the former President, together with all those political parties and ordinary Zambians that will give themselves to this national imperative in order to address the issues that we are faced with,for the sake of the nation’s survival and for the sake of our hard worn independence.
We thus urge the Civil Society, the Church and indeed every Zambian, to join us in this noble cause of defending this nation against the machinations of the ruling Party to destroy democracy whilst they gallivant all over the world for their own entertainment amidst the high cost of living, rampant corruption, divisiveness, abrogation and a disregard for the rule of law, high fuel prices, a lack of medicines in our health facilities and high mealie meal prices.
Chishala Kateka for President
President – New Heritage Party