Former Foreign Affairs Minister in the Frederick Chiluba administration, Kelly Walubita has charged that the Patriotic Front (PF) is taking Zambia to the infamous one party state by its propensity to intimidate and harass the opposition political party leaders and the general citizenry that does not agree with its style of governance.
Mr Walubita has vowed that he was breaking the silence to fight the traits of dictatorship that had manifested in the PF and has urged Zambians to get rid of the fear factor that had gripped Zambians over criticizing elected leaders.
Mr Walubita who yesterday joined the UPND along with former Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) vice-president Patricia Mwashingwele and Prince Mushili, son of senior Chief Mushili said it was unacceptable that Zambia could be sliding back to the dark days of one party state after reverting to multiparty politics more than three decades ago.
Mr Walubita who is former ambassador to India said he would sacrifice all it would take to serve Zambia from destroying the democracy the country had enjoyed since 1991.
He said as a pioneer of democracy in the MMD, he would never allow dictatorship to take root in the country because most countries across the globe were frowning on governments that were dictatorial.
Mr Walubita said in an interview that Zambia was founded on the principles of democracy and rule of law and that those in government should at all times resist the temptation of using fear, intolerance and harassment as the pillars of governance.
He said he had decided to break the silence and come back into active politics at 71 because many Zambians were complaining about poor governance by the PF and that he would like to contribute in the protection of constitutional and civil rights of citizens.
Mr Walubita said he had joined the UPND to be an agent of the best change stating that Zambians did not get the change they wanted when they voted for the PF.
“It is unacceptable that after more than three decades of multiparty democracy, some leaders should be exhibiting traits of dictatorship. They send shivers in my spine when they talk about a one party state and I have joined the UPND to be an agent of change. There is suddenly so much fear among Zambians and they do not have the freedom to discuss the challenges that directly affect them as a result of poor governance systems. Some people want to take Zambia back to the dreaded era of the one party state and am urging all citizens to reject such kind of leadership. I will devote myself to fighting for true change, the change that will restore and consolidate our democracy,” Mr Walubita said.
He said it was not being brave to ignore wrong things in the country stating that unless Zambians rose to defend what they fought for in 1991, there was real danger that democracy could slip through their hands.
Mr Walubita said it was unbelievable that there could be leaders in the current political dispensation, advocating autocratic systems of governance.
And former ABZ vice-president Patricia Mwanshingwele said Zambia was being governed on tribal lines and appealed to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to heal the tribal disease the PF had introduced in the country.
Ms Mwashingwele said never in the history of Zambia had tribalism been as so pronounced as it had become under the rule of the PF.
She said tribalism and nepotism were eating the country’s unity, harmony and peace and that the UPND should endeavour to dismantle the culture of ethnicity that had been introduced by the ruling party.