It is evident that Mr Hakainde Hichilema has resolved to adopt and administer violence and cadreism as a fallback plan to mitigate the monumental political and socioeconomic failures the country is experiencing under his leadership.

We have persistently catalogued the UPND’s history of ugly and barbaric politics. We have seen and shown how violence and all other forms of political oppression and criminality are being committed by the UPND cadres led by identifiable individuals some of them serving Cabinet Ministers and senior party officials with full protection of the police.

We have evidence of how well-known UPND cadres have been abducting or kidnapping, knifing, assaulting, beating and publicly threatening to “slaughter” opposition political leaders and other critical voices in the name of protecting Mr Hichilema with the police paying a blind eye. And how our numerous complaints and reports to the police on these incidences have been ignored.

It’s now a trend that whenever a report is made to the police, it’s us, the victims of Mr Hichilema’s cadres’ violence who get locked up and are prosecuted. This is the impunity that the perpetrators of such crimes are enjoying for their crimes with the help and support of the police.

And both Mr Hichilema’s regime and the police have been denying these reports of violence at the hands of UPND cadres, including moments when identifiable UPND cadres have held press briefings, and appeared on radio and television aggressively threatening to physically harm and kill opposition leaders of this country.

But as they say, lies have short legs. Lies are unsustainable. Mr Hichilema and his violent gang can no longer pretend. They can no longer be subtle or lie about their violent nature. Pressure is mounting, and it has forced them to openly unleash the UPND’s architecture of violence and cadreism on citizens. Machetes, knives, and all manner of makeshift weaponry is out on the streets in defence of Mr Hichilema and his ‘good policies’. Their intention is to harm or beat dissenting voices of ordinary citizens into silence.

Mr Hichilema has deliberately charged the political environment to create an atmosphere of fear, human insecurity, and ultimately induce self-censorship among citizens, political players, civil society, religious and traditional leaders, and other critical voices.

There is plenty of quantitative evidence of victims of violence and the kind of violence meted out, including the weaponization of the law against citizens, activists, and political stakeholders. There is a general lack of human security in Zambia today owing to Mr Hichilema and the UPND’s deliberate policy of violence.  

With the help of the police, they have committed to threatening, harming, and beat citizens into total submission. But for how long? What dividends will be gained from this persistent violence, intimidation, and abuse of the police?

The truth is, Mr Hichilema will not succeed on this dangerous and tragic path he has set this country on. In the end, the people shall triumph. The people shall free themselves from this evil turn in our country’s politics. A solution to these problems Mr Hichilema is creating, this wanton abuse and nerve-wracking trajectory will be found by the people themselves. The people shall decide the end of this evil phase.

In fact, the more Mr Hichilema and his gang become atrocious and thirsty for bloodshed, the more citizens become resolute to close this dark chapter in our nation’s political history. We know it's rough for Mr Hichilema and his gang. We know they’ve failed to deliver on their promises. We know they’re afraid of losing power and are now desperate for survival.

But unleashing cadres with machetes, knifes, stones, knobkerries and all manner of improved weaponry on the streets, on peace loving Zambians, in the style we have witnessed lately, will actually accelerate the actualization of what Mr Hichilema presently fears the most – the loss of power. It will happen so quickly, and no brutality, threats, lies, or narrative will save them.

Violence can only bury them and not save them!        

And for Mr Graphael Musamba, the Inspector General of Police, he is a monumental failure. He has failed the country with his open bias, cowardice, opportunism, and lack of professionalism in dealing with citizens and Mr Hichilema’s critics. Under his supervision, the system of the police has totally collapsed to the extent that, it can no longer protect citizens, motivate the rank and file of the police service, and in the end, citizens have lost confidence, trust and respect in the police. The police are no longer viewed as protectors but part of the oppressors. What a colossal failure? What a legacy?  

We see the disappointment, frustration, and pain on the faces of these police officers they’ve been sending to execute illegal orders against fellow citizens. We actually sympathize with these dedicated, visionary, and patriotic young Zambians they’re abusing, who have been let down by a highly compromised and unprincipled high command.

But filapwa, elo fikapwa nombaline, nishita fye!

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party

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