United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday staged a one-man Black Friday protest against the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel and demanded that President Michael Sata and his government stop vandalizing institutions of good governance such as the judiciary.
The UPND leader, dressed in black and carrying a placard with messages demanding the restoration of subsidies on maize and fuel said the PF as an opposition political party had lied to Zambians that things would be easier and cheaper if they formed government.
Mr Hichilema’s placards also demanded that President Sata must stop his dictatorial behavior and allow citizens to enjoy their rights of association, assembly and speech.
Mr Hichilema has strongly condemned President Sata for harassing Mini bus drivers, most of whom sloganeered “pabwato” then popular maxim and massively voted for the PF in the 2011 elections.
Mr Hichilema’s placard had the following messages: “Ba PF ubufi, amabufi, Restore fuel subsidies, Transport yadula, Restore maize subsidies, Bunga bwadula, Osamanga ma mini bus drivers na kubabela ndalama.”
He said there was no country in the world that would call itself democratic when its leadership was busy cracking down on the rights of its citizens by violently harassing and arresting them.
Mr Hichilema said the attack on civil society leaders and the clergy that had congregated at the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) was barbaric and a clear indication that the PF had become despotic.
He said the PF had continued with its campaign of intimidating citizens with the latest event being the attack on Agenda for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Father Frank Bwalya who was featuring on a Kitwe based Radio station Flava FM.
Mr Hichilema said the attack of Fr Bwalya who was even splashed with Chibuku Shake Shake beer had confirmed that President Sata and the PF were the worst government Zambians have ever given to themselves.
Mr Hichilema who staged his Black Friday protest at the Freedom statute in Kamwala said: “Am here at the Freedom statute to send a message to the Patriotic Front government that Zambians will continue to resist the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel. They will continue to reject the barbarism the PF has introduced in our democratic Zambia and the leadership of this government must get the message that the right to associate and assemble and that of speech are constitutional and no one, not even Mr Sata has the right to take or violet such rights.”
Mr Hichilema stated that the PF had polarized the judiciary by interfering with its functions and that most of judicial staff were worried that an important arm of government was being mutilated at the whims of the clique that was holding President Sata hostage.
He said the brutality being perpetrated by the PF had been extended to journalists and asked President Sata, who has been loudly quiet on the violence that has rocked the nation to denounce his thugs.
He said the PF’s desire to have the majority in Parliament had resulted in the inducement of several by-elections that have since seen colossal sums of money being wasted.