The arrest, harassment and intimidation of opposition political leaders, civil rights activists and journalists are signs of the ruling PF’s attempt to set up a police state, Muhabi Lungu has said.
In an interview yesterday, Lungu, who is MMD’s communications director, said Zambians were going through political oppression worse than that which they experienced under the one-party state under Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP.
He said the next three years of the Patriotic Fronts reign would be the worst because the ruling party was likely to use dictatorial tools to remain in power beyond 2016.
Lungu said the levels of intolerance and intimidation the citizens were being subjected to have far surpassed those that occurred in the UNIP era during the one-party state.
“Never in the history of the country have there been so many judicial reviews and these things are happening because the regime in power has never believed in democracy and dialogue,” said Lungu.
Lungu told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was frightening that the PF regime and its leadership did not have a limit in abusing authority and that their propensity to disregard the rule of law was turning the country into Nazi-style Gestapo state of the Adolf Hitler era.
He said the ruling party had battered the Judiciary to levels where judicial officers were being exerted with excessive Executive pressure to make decisions that adversely affected the performance of the judicial system.
Lungu proposed that Zambians begin resisting attempts by the government to have limitless powers to do anything because that was a recipe for political anarchy and consternation.
He said that for the first time in the history of the country, Zambians were witnesses to opposition political leaders being cited for contempt for merely criticising the appointment of judicial officers who were constitutionally ineligible to hold constitutional offices.
Lungu recalled that when President Michael Sata was in the opposition, he enjoyed immense freedoms to criticise and even ridicule sitting presidents but that at no time was he ever punished for his actions because his predecessors knew and understood his rights.
He stated that the immediate past two chief justices, Ernest Sakala and his predecessor Mathew Ngulube were subjected to a lot of verbal abuse from President Sata and at no time was he ever cited for contempt.
“I am very worried about the future of this country because we have quickly drifted into a reign of terror under the PF government. There is a danger that we shall all be beaten up and silenced. They will use fear, intimidation and beat up citizens to submission so that they can remain in power beyond 2016,” Lungu said.
Lungu said that what was more worrying was that President Sata had elected never to talk to the people by remaining mute on many political and economic challenges that have besieged the nation.
He wondered why the President who traversed the country during his campaigns had suddenly decided to remain shut inside State House while the country was being torn apart by a group of people with the desire to persecute their perceived political opponents.
‘There is a crisis in the country and the President has remained cocooned in State House. Why does he want to talk to his people? He is not even talking to his members of PF who are busy tearing each other. The next three years will be extremely tough. Anyway, they say that state of the nation is tested through difficult times,” Lungu said.
Lungu was optimistic that the MMD will have a landslide victory in Mkaika Constituency because the people in the area were angry with the manner Zambia was being governed.