President Michael Sata should be civil when admonishing his senior appointees and should stop flexing dictatorial muscles because modern politics are about soberness, foresight and coherence, United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has said.
Hichilema has advised President Sata to stop using his name to gag media houses that have been hosting and publishing stories that were critical to his style of governance which he has described as lacking in many aspects.
The UPND leader said it was shocking that President Sata could throw a tirade of unpalatable at senior government officials such as former information and broadcasting services Emanuel Mwamba for merely implementing what had been promised to Zambians.
The UPND leader said the language President Sata used against his senior appointees was close to that of first republican president Kenneth Kaunda who had the propensity of verbally abusing his ministers and journalists each time he addressed press conferences.
He said Sata had acquired a new set of advisors in the name of Dr Kaunda who had the authority to lambast ministers serving in a government he did not belong while President Sata was looking on.
He said it was not surprising that Dr Kaunda had elected to demean the opposition political parties at a PF rally in Kitwe stating that was the reason opposition political party leaders were not ready to attend state functions.
Hichilema said President Sata had decreed the revocation of national wide broadcasting licenses for radio Phoenix and QFM ratio stations because he did not want the opposition leader and other citizens to enjoy their rights to be heard.
“President Sata has signed a death warrant for media freedom in Zambia by directing that the national wide broadcasting licenses for radio Phoenix and QFM should be revoked. But that is what happens when you have a leader who is struggling to compete for ideas with people who are well informed about how to run the country. This is a clear sign that we are headed for harder times,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema said it was agonizingly surprising that President Sata was shouting down Vice-president, former ministry of information and broadcasting Permanent Secretary Emanuel Mwamba and Berlin Msiska of Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
The opposition leader said he did not care being shouted at by President Sata because his role as the leader of the opposition political party was to provide checks on the excesses of the PF government.
“I do not mind him screaming at me but he should not use my name to gag media houses and their personnel. Let him scream at me but he must not take away the rights of Zambians to express themselves through any medium. I know that he does not want me to be heard because I know how much corrupt his government is. He is avoiding me from talking about the corruption at RDA and he does not want me to ask Guy Scott to name the corrupt ministers he has reported to police,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema said the conduct of President Sata on Monday was a true reflection of a colonial police constable who believed in humiliating his surbordinates.
He explained that the world had changed and that no matter how hard Sata and his advisors were going to fight for the reintroduction of a one party state, Zambians would never allow because they had tasted how nice freedom of choice, association and assembling was.
Hichilema has appealed to the opposition political parties to unite in the fight for the protection of democracy saying that countries that had abandoned the democratic style of governance were economically not stable.