ABOUT 250 youths in Lusaka are allegedly being trained as a militia group by United Party for National Development (UPND) leaders, President Edgar Lungu has revealed.
The said militia group is allegedly being led by an expelled Patriotic Front (PF) member who was recently operating from Inter-city Bus Terminus in Lusaka.
President Lungu said yesterday that the alleged militia battalion was undergoing training for the purpose of causing anarchy should the UPND lose the August 11, general elections to the PF.
“I am asking HH (Mr Hichilema) and GBM (Mr Geoffrey Mwamba) to dismantle this militia they have set up in Lusaka where they are training young men to be vigilantes or militias.
“I will not watch and sit, what you need to know is that I talk slowly but I carry a big stick and I am not saying this because I want to show off,” the President said.
He made the revelation in Katete District in Eastern Province when he addressed scores of residents at a public rally held at Katete main market.
However, Mr Mwamba, in an interview yesterday dispelled the President’s allegations claiming that the UPND did not require any militia.
“Times of Zambia! What do you want from me? Go and ask Edgar Lungu if he has seen any militia that I am training.
“He (Mr Lungu) is just a small frightened little man, if I am to borrow what Kaunda told Chiluba,” Mr Mwamba said.
He cut the line when asked to state whether or not the intelligence report obtained by Mr Lungu on the UPND militia was false.
“Hey, get out, you are wasting my time,” Mr Mwamba said and cut the line.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Hichilema proved futile by press time as his mobile phone was unreachable.
However, UPND national youth chairperson Likando Mufalali said his party believed in the existing constitutional structures that were there to promote law and order in the country.
Mr Mufalali said his party always upheld peace in its activities, and that UPND youths had always been encouraged to preserve tranquillity.
“We do not have any such thing as militia in our party, that’s a categorical no because we are aware of the roles performed by the Zambia Police, Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and Zambian National Service.
“We do not believe in illegal activities such as the use of militia as UPND because we are a peace abiding party and this is the message we are taking to all our youths countrywide,” Mr Mufalali said.
Mr Lungu said peace was fundamental to the development of any nation, hence he would want to see a free and fair election where politicians accept the outcome of the results.
The PF administration would continue to take development countrywide, with Mr Lungu saying the Government had mobilised funds to build a modern market and bus station in Katete.
President Lungu urged Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone to ensure the construction of the two facilities moved quickly for the benefit of the people.
He told Katete residents that the presidential loan scheme currently being implemented on the Copperbelt would be extended to all parts of the country to benefit other marketeers.
The Head of State later proceeded to Chanida border area between Zambia and Mozambique where scores of people welcomed him.
He assured the jubilant crowd that the forthcoming general elections would be peaceful.
Mr Lungu, who went to Chanida to inspect the border facility, said the general elections should not bring about anarchy and divisions at the expense of peace and unity.
President Lungu would today join many other dignitaries in celebrating this year’s Nc’wala traditional ceremony of the Ngoni-speaking people in Chipata.