THE Patriotic Front youth leadership on the Copperbelt Province has declared the region a no- go area for UPND president Hakainde Hichilema until he condemns his cadres for their alleged involvement in political violence in Southern, North-Western and Western provinces.
PF Copperbelt youth chairperson Nathan Chanda said failure by Mr. Hichilema to condemn and stop political attacks by his cadres against other political players campaigning in UPND’s perceived strongholds implied that the opposition leader was behind such attacks and violence.
Mr. Chanda said the PF would not take such political violence but attacks on its leadership kindly and would ensure Mr. Hichilema did not enter Copperbelt for any political activity.
“PF strongholds will remain UPND’s no-go areas until Mr. Hichilema apologizes for attacks on Republican Vice President Inonge Wina’s family by UPND thugs. Following the unfortunate violent attacks occasioned against Republican Vice President Madam Inonge Wina’s family by UPND thugs in Nalolo, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema will be adding insult to injury if he continues with his silence over the violence perpetrated by his party,” he said.
Mr. Chanda said the PF shall not allow Mr. Hichilema to freely visit and campaign on the Copperbelt and other PF strongholds if he failed to openly condemn the violence.
“We shall not allow the UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema in our strongholds starting with the Copperbelt Province.
‘‘This, we must underscore, shall be done in a non-violent manner to demonstrate that we remain strongly opposed to his hypocrisy even as we demand for civilized political engagement,” he said.
He said the PF shall not allow the UPND to re-invent or spread the so-called Mapatizya formula to the rest of the country for them to get into power.
Mr. Chanda said Zambians were aware that the UPND did not start their violent conduct now.
“UPND fought battles with the MMD. Why is it only UPND and not MMD? It is a fact that while in the opposition together with the PF, it was always the UPND in physical and violent confrontation with the then ruling MMD. Zambians still recall the Mapatizya violence, a bloodbath that saw the birth of a highly infamous Mapatizya formula,” he said.
Mr. Chanda said it was incorrect for Mr. Hichilema to keep quiet on a matter of national importance such as peace and stability.
He said the UPND leader should not take for granted the reception he was receiving on the Copperbelt and think that he had won the elections next year.
“Mr. Hichilema should not take for granted the reception he and his party get in other parts of the country while PF members find it impossible to carry out political activities in UPND perceived strongholds such as Southern Province where UPND remains tribally rooted. As PF, we are saying abash regional politics and political intimidation,” Mr Chanda said.