By Peter Sukwa
DEMOCRATIC Party president Harry Kalaba has told President Hakainde Hichilema that he cannot fight the will of the people.
A 3:22 minutes recording between home affairs permanent secretary – administration Josephs Akafumba and President Hichilema’s special advisor (political) Levy Ngoma discussing the DP’s internal wrangles has gone viral on social media.
In the recording, Ngoma is heard suggesting Kalaba should not be given free reign adding that the boss in apparent reference to the Head of State had inquired over the issue.
However, Akafumba responds that ECZ’s chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano wants to give a party (DP) to another party and that the Registrar of Societies had indicated that the matter was before court and any other action would be undermining the court process.
Briefing the press at his party’s secretariat in Lusaka on Tuesday, Kalaba accused President Hichilema of meddling in DP’s internal affairs.
Kalaba said the DP was concerned that the President, through his special assistant for politics Levy Ngoma, was involved in DP activities with intention to destroy the opposition party.
He said the acts by the President and his hired agents were not just meant to destabilise the country’s hard-fought democracy but also to entrench himself as a hardcore dictator who was ready to destroy any perceived political threat.
Kalaba said when information of President Hichilema’s involvement in DP wrangles leaked late 2021, he reluctantly phoned the Head of State to ask him to keep away from internal affairs of other parties as that was tantamount to abuse of his office as Republican President.
He said President Hichilema denied any involvement in DP affairs.
Kalaba said abuse was abuse regardless of which party the perpetrator belonged to.He said if an act was wrong under the PF government, it still remained wrong under the UPND administration.
Kalaba, however, indicated that it was of great concern that while the President continued refusing his involvement and sponsoring anyone to destabilise the DP, his special assistant for politics was having meetings with the Registrar of Societies as well as the suspended members of the party.
“As a matter of fact, the same special assistant had a meeting with the DP renegades on Monday 17th January 2022 between 19:05 and 20:00 hours.
The said special assistant has even been having meetings with staff from the Registrar of Societies to try and influence their decision and get them to favour the renegade group that is purporting to be the owners of the DP in clear contravention of the law of the land,” Kalaba said.
He further claimed that the acts perpetrated by President Hichilema were not just taking away from the presidency but also the dignity of State House.
Kalaba advised President Hichilema to refrain from meddling in DP affairs and focus on fixing economic challenges Zambians were expecting him to sort out.
“Currently, the cost of mealie-meal has continued to go up and yet the UPND government in their logic have decided to increase the quota of maize export to neighbouring countries.
Farmers have been neglected and for the first time they received their inputs way into the rain season! Armyworms are ravaging crops and yet little action is being taken by the UPND government.
The cost of fuel has gone up by over 20 per cent from the time the UPND took over government and they plan to affect another increment within the month of January,” he said.
“The cost of transportation has gone up significantly over the last two months in response to the hike in fuel prices, making it almost practically impossible for people to move from one part of the country to the other. The price of essential commodities is now way beyond the reach of an average Zambian and this has resulted in an increase in crimes.”
Kalaba claimed that the acts by the President and his hired agents were not just meant to destabilise the country’s hard-fought democracy but also to entrench himself as a hardcore dictator who was ready to destroy any perceived political threat.
“I have a message for you Sir, you cannot fight the will of the people. A time is coming when the 2.8 million will reach out to the 1.8 million so as to put the interest of the nation at the forefront and protect the country’s democracy. And judging by your actions in Kabwata, that time is fast approaching,” he said.
Kalaba said the DP would not relent but continue to flag issues of abuse, corruption, tribalism and regionalism, bullying and many others which had continued in President Hichilema’s government.
He said if President Hichilema felt disenfranchising the DP would silence him, he was wrong because the party’s values were driven by a greater conviction for a fair and more humane Zambia.
And Kalaba said DP would write to the European Union, the United States of American Embassy and other diplomats to tell them how President Hichilema wanted to turn the country into a one party state.
Kalaba claimed that Zambia was at a crossroads because of the President who was speedily evolving into a puppet master wanting to control all government activities from his community house with little consideration of the oath he swore to protect and uphold the Constitution of the Republic.
He urged the media to cover, without fear or favour, ills being perpetrated in the name of the President.