United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has condemned the culture of vengeance, vindictiveness and retribution allegedly being perpetrated by the Patriotic Front (PF).
And Mr Hichilema says the enactment of the new Constitution would be the priority of the UPND if the opposition political party formed government after the 2016 general elections.
Mr Hichilema has since pledged to heal the country by stopping political witch hunt that has seen leaders of the previous government being persecuted should Zambians give him the privilege to govern the country.
He said he was a man who loathed vindictiveness and retribution because such evils were only dividing the country and created hatred amongst citizens.
Featuring at Millennium Radio yesterday, Mr Hichilema said a lot of resources were being wasted in pursuing and victimizing perceived political opponents.
He said his government would endevour to unite the country and concentrate on rebuilding the country’s economy that was currently bleeding.
The UPND leader said he had been a victim of vindictiveness and retribution under the PF government and did not want the leaders in the ruling party to suffer the same way he had but would rather they remained free and marvel at how best the country would be managed.
He said he had been beaten, arrested and locked up in filthy police cells on tramped up political charges adding it was a blessing that the PF had made him test the evils of political persecution and victimization.
Mr Hichilema said he was praying for President Michael Sata to live much longer so that he could be defeated him in the next general elections and have an opportunity to see how best and efficiently to run the affairs of the country as well as learn that it was not necessary to brutalize citizens.
Mr Hichilema recounted the number of times when he had fallen victim to the outdated and draconian Public Order Act (POA) the PF was implementing against the opposition political party leaders as well as the civil society organisations.
“I do not believe in vindictiveness, retribution and vengeance because these evils have only managed to breed hatred among Zambians.
It does not please me to see people being persecuted for no discernible reason other than pure vengeance. We have wasted a lot of public money witch-hunting. The UPND will not waste time pursuing the leaders from the PF but will give them chance to enjoy their freedom and marvel at how best we are going to manage the affairs of the country. I have been arrested and thrown in the worst police cells and I thank God that he allowed Zambians to test the poor leadership of the PF,” Mr Hichilema said.
And Mr Hichilema said the UPND in government would religiously prioritise the enactment of the new Constitution should the PF fail to deliver the Supreme law of the land before the 2016 general elections.
Mr Hichilema said the journey of the constitution making process had been too long and that the process had gobbled more than a K1 billion without any results.
He said his party was still demanding for the immediate release of the draft constitution and begin the process of enacting the law and that it was unacceptable that the PF government had filed the document after K150 million.
Meanwhile Mr Hichilema said the UPND in government would abolish the law of former presidents being built a retirement house after leaving the office of president.
Mr Hichilema said any person aspiring to lead the country must have his own house and should not punish the poor citizens by demanding for a retirement house.
The UPND leader also condemned the Members of Parliament (MPs) demanding an increase in their salaries stating that it was morally incorrect for Parliamentarians to demand more money than the nurses who were serving lives.
He said the National Assembly and State House were not a means of making oneself rich but the institutions were meant to serve Zambians.
“I will not need Zambians to build me a retirement house after serving the country as president. Any leader aspiring to govern the country must have his own house.
Why should the poor Zambians build a house for retired president? The Principle is that we do not seek public office to get higher salaries.
The MPs should not demand higher salaries than the nurses. State House and Parliament are not for making money but to serve the people,” Mr Hichilema said.