..the Church should join with vigil prayers and members of the public must join the advocacy...

Lusaka-Sunday, May 26th, 2024

It has been over 24 hours since Petauke Central Independent Member of Parliament, Hon. Emmanuel Jay Jay Banda, was abducted and remains missing.

We noted a preliminary statement from the Zambia Police that raises more questions than answers.

Further, this matter comes shortly after the house of Mambilima MP, Hon. Jean Chisenga caught fire and was entirely consumed.

Both Hon. Chisenga and Hon. Emmanuel JJ Banda have recently received public threats from the UPND leadership and cadres.

Hon. Emmanuel JJ Banda is a member of Parliament, a people's representative, a sacred and revered position of significance in any nation in the world.

But we are rather surprised and shocked at the response by State House.

Instead of receiving a statement of concern about this sad development from President Hakainde Hichilema and State House, the nation has been subjected to dirty propaganda churned and spewed out by Koswe Media, owned and run by State House Press Analyst, Mr.  Brian Mwiinga, and run largely by the State House Media team.

In their Pastoral Statement on the State of the Nation - November 2023, with a theme, "Hear O my people and I will admonish you..." Psalms 81:8,  the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), among other things, advised President Hakainde Hichilema to close the rogue media organisations he was running at State House.

The ZCCB expressed concern that Hichilema's rogue media were defaming persons and citizens  that left victims without recourse to the law or justice and this media was perpetrating dangerous propaganda that could harm and plunge the nation into chaos and lawlessness.

The call by the Bishops was met by more insults and ridicule by the State House rogue media.

Both the Zambia Police Inspector General of Police and ZICTA Director General have refused to deal with the rogue online pages run by State House. How could they? They are helpless appointees of President Hichilema.

And true to these concerns, State House rogue media spent the whole night scandalising and defaming Hon Emmanuel JJ Banda and trashing the claims of his abduction.

Yet in this case, Hon. Banda is missing. His family is struck with fear of his where-abouts and are engaged in fervent prayer, praying for the safe return.of their son, husband  father. 

The State House rogue online newspapers have also been publishing articles that dissuade serious Police investigations and urging the Police to shift focus to their archenemy, former President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

Further, there is a clear and deliberate campaign to play down the importance of this heinous crime committed against Hon. Emmanuel Banda as seen by the reporting by ZNBC, an institution that should be a public broadcaster.

Our call is that President Hichilema must lead in this matter and help with the immediate and safe return of Hon. Banda.

President Hichilema must direct all police and security agencies to join forces in investigating and seeking to establish the whereabouts of Hon. Banda.

The focus of everyone should be on the safe return of Hon. Banda and partisan politics must be cast away during this period of deep concerns.

It must be made very clear that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be caught, today, or tomorrow or in future and be brought before Justice.

Zambia now has installed surveillance cameras both public and private and on all toll gates and this must be a start for the Zambia Police investigating this matter.

We call upon our Members of Parliament to keep vigil on this matter and raise activities that should focus on the safe return of their colleague, a member of Parliament.

We also call upon the Church to conduct prayers of vigil for the life and safe return of the Hon. Banda.

We urge members of the public to join not only in prayers, but also in advocacy for the safe return of Hon. Banda.

Issued by;

Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba 

Chairperson for Information and Publicity,

Member of the Central Committee,


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