THERE shall never be any form of reconciliation and forgiveness from the United Party for National Development (UPND) to the Patriotic Front (PF) and the two political parties shall forever remain diametrically and politically opposed to each other in all aspects, Charles Kakoma has declared.
Mr Kakoma, who is UPND spokesperson, said his party was not going to be part of the National Day of Prayers, Fasting and Reconciliation and vowed that the opposition would never attend any State function, claiming that the governing party was victimising its leaders and members who were being arrested and detained for offences they had not committed.
Mr Kakoma said it was difficult for the UPND to reconcile with the PF because, according to him, the governing party was indiscriminately arresting its leaders and general membership whom he claimed were scattered in prisons across the country.
He said in an interview yesterday that the UPND did not find it appropriate to be part of the National Day of Prayers, Fasting and Reconciliation when its leaders Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba were allegedly being persecuted by the State. Mr Kakoma claimed that it was difficult for the UPND to participate in State functions, alleging that last year the PF banned the opposition party from national events on account that the opposition party was going to ‘‘contaminate’’ the events.
“The UPND will never be part of any State function now or in the future and we have no intentions of reconciling with the PF because we are victims of political persecution. Our leaders are being arrested and persecuted, and as we are speaking the police have issued new police call- outs.
‘‘We have more than 2,000 of our members scattered in prisons across the country. There is no dialogue between the PF and the UPND and how can there be reconciliation? In fact, if you remember, the PF banned the UPND from attending State functions on grounds that the opposition party would contaminate the events,” Mr Kakoma claimed.
Mr Kakoma claimed that the first time the UPND attempted to participate in a State function, its cadres were beaten while others were allegedly stripped naked by ruling party cadres at the International Labour Day celebrations in Lusaka.