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Zambian opposition parties accuse ruling UPND of ‘systematic’ meddling in their internal affairs



The 10 leading opposition parties in Zambia have cautioned the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) against what it described as the “systematic” meddling in their affairs.

The opposition parties, which raised the alarm during a joint press conference in Lusaka on Thursday, described the actions of the UPND as act of cowardice by meddling in their internal affairs.

President of Citizens First (CF), Harry Kalaba, who addressed the press conference on behalf of the 10 opposition parties which included the New Heritage Party and Golden Party of Zambia, among others, stated that the actions of the ruling party were aimed at weakening the opposition in Zambia because the “UPND did not want a strong opposition that could stand up to them.”

“For the first time in this country’s history, we are having senior military personnel being drafted to participate in covert activities that are intended to disenfranchise the opposition,” Kalaba said.

He warned those he accused of pushing such an agenda that the opposition parties knew what was happening and would not hesitate to hold them personally accountable at the right time.

The CF President reminded civil servants in the country, military and paramilitary personnel who are being drafted into covert operations to resist such activities as they were not meant for the good of the country.

He added that the country had also seen arrests of several opposition leaders on trumped up charges of espionage arising from them expressing their views.

“It is apparent that this takeover of parties was made possible owing to the apparent lack of unity among opposition leaders as well as other interest groups and the citizens not taking a position to speak out in favor of democracy,” Kalaba said.

The CF leader noted that the country had seen a significant increase in corruption that had been aided by President Hichilema’s alleged single sourcing practice, especially when dealing with key expenses on which the welfare of the nation heavily relied.

“What is ironic is that the oversight institutions have elected silence in the face of national pillage,” Kalaba lamented, expressing shock that donor agencies had equally opted to remain mute even in the “face of blatant abuse of public office orchestrated by those at the apex of public office.”

Lastly, he challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission to visit the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) and look at the transaction with Egypt in which he claimed the correct procedure was not followed.

“The nation deserves to know why ZAMRA went ahead to approve the contract and delivery of drugs from Egypt in the absence of a dossier.
The scandal at ZAMRA today will make Honey Bee look like a storm in a cup,” he claimed.


Zambian govt rejects ‘light’ sentence of PF chieftain, Kambwili, appeals for two-year term



The Zambian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, has rejected what he described as the light prison sentence of five months given to a stalwart of the Patriotic Front (PF), Chishimba Kambwili.

Kambwili, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, was last week convicted by a Kasama Resident Magistrate, Samson Mumba, after he was found guilty of hate speech against the Tonga people of Southern Province, and committed to the Milima Prison in Kasama District.

While delivering the judgement, Mumba said Kambwili was guilty of the offence of expressing hatred and ridicule for persons because of tribe and place of origin.

The former Minister of Information and Publicity was said to have issued anti-Tonga tribal remarks during the 2021 elections when he featured on a live radio programme.

He was later suspended for a month by the Electoral Commission of Zambia ( ECZ) over the said remarks.

But Phiri has rejected the five months jail term and is insisting that the offence should have carried a maximum of two years sentence.

The DPP, which filed an appeal at the Lusaka High Court, raised two grounds in the notice, arguing that Mumba had “erred in law when he sentenced the convict to a term of five months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of hate speech which carries maximum sentence of two years.”

Phiri also argued that the trial “erred in law when it misapplied the principals of sentencing in relation to the gravity and nature of the offence committed.”

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Tinubu talks tough, vows punishment for anyone culpable in deadly bombing of civilians



President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria has vowed that any individual found culpable in the bombing of Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria, where over 120 civilians were killed last Sunday, will not go unpunished.

Tinubu, who made the vow on Thursday, also assured that all the injured victims would be well taken care of by the government under the Folako Initiative which would commence later this month, while the affected communities would be rebuilt under the new intiative.

Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, embarked on a visit alongside a high-powered government delegation to wounded victims at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna. He explained that the government would do everything possible to ensure that such an unfortunate incident dod not occur again.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu sent us to commensurate with the people of Kaduna over the tragic incident,” Shettima said.

“The calibre of people that are here with me is a testimony on how deeply touched the president was by the incident.

“The President was deeply touched by what happened. We will like to assure the people and government of Kaduna State that the government will take measures to protect and preserve the interest of our nation.

“The victims will be well taken care of under the Fulako Initiative which will commence by this month and this community will be the first to be rebuilt in north west zone.

“All measures will be taken to ensure that future occurrence is averted. Government will get to the root of the issue and anyone found culpable will be punished accordingly,” Shettima added.

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