UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says it is no longer guess work that the PF will arrest anyone opposing their corruption, debt crisis and bad governance. Hichilema yesterday said the arrest of clergymen and civil society organisation members in Ndola last Friday for discussing debt crisis was an affront to democracy.

“To the church, we say remain strong because history records show that you, together with all of us gave hope when our country was under siege by such elements,” he said. “And to the civil society organisations, as a party we would like to encourage you to place the interests of our country first and ensure those plundering both public and donor funding in this case the PF are held accountable. It is no longer guess work that the PF will arrest anyone opposing their corruption, debt crisis and bad governance but we call on the country to join hands and say no to such colonial way of running our country.”Hichilema said appealed the police not to accept to be abused by the corrupt few in the PF.

“We are aware that our men and women in uniform are the least respected by the PF but we will restore their dignity and improve their conditions of service when in government and this is why we call on them to think twice when asked to arrest pastors, civil society organisations members and citizens in general,” he said.

“We condemn the arrest of members of the clergy and some from the civil society organisation on Friday 19th October, 2018 in Ndola. This was after they had gathered to discuss the budget and the debt crisis, and corruption. We call on the PF to stop abusing the police in hiding their corruption and debt crisis.”

Hichilema said the brutal arrest of pastors and the civil society organisation advocating for transparency and accountability on the part of how government and donor resources were spent was a clear indication of the PF’s continued oppression and dictatorship.

“Zambia does not need a regime such as the PF that has robbed citizens of their freedoms of association, assembly and expression,” said Hichilema. “Clearly, due to their corruption, injustices and unprecedented debt crisis, the PF has shown that it will even start following citizens in their homes and arrest them for expressing themselves over things going wrong in our country.  Is that what Zambians want?”Last Friday, police in Ndola disrupted a meeting that was organised by the Centre for Trade Policy and Development to reflect on the proposed 2019 national budget and picked up the lead pastor. The meeting at Ndola Central Baptist Church attracted a number of pastors from different denominations. Police picked Pastor George Palo, who organized the Church leaders in Ndola, Others were two officials, CTPD head of programmes and research Brian Chiko Mwiinga, and communications officer Isaiah Mbewe.

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