By NATION REPORTER
The authenticity of a social media video claiming to depict the victim of gunshot, fired by Socialist Party President Fred M’membe, has come under serious scrutiny.
The video shows a UPND Central Province official, James Ntalasha at a ward in UTH, standing guard over a youth clad in a UPND Tshirt, allegedly shot in the fracas in Serenje, where M’membe admitted having fired gunshots in the air and has been subsequently charged for discharging a firearm.
Mr Ntalasha who could not explain the nature of gunshot wound suffered by the “victim”, suggested that for safety he would be removed from UTH to a safe destination.
But Dr M’membe has accused the UPND of launching a malicious and nihilistic propaganda campaign aimed at characterizing him (M’membe) as a violent and trigger-happy political leader.
And Dr M’membe has charged that it was shocking that the Zambia Police arrested the victims of the UPND violence in Serenje instead of pursuing the perpetrators of the barbarism who attacked his members.
“No UPND cadre has been arrested and there has not been any hypocritical condemnation of the violence by the ruling party. We were attacked and assaulted and had to defend ourselves and got arrested for it. Why are the UPND cadres untouchable and why do they seem to be above the law? It is because the violence is supported by the UPND leadership. When it comes to violence, the words of the UPND are not matched with deeds. The words are worthless like salt that has lost its saltness,” Dr M’membe said.
Dr M’membe says Zambians should never believe or trust UPND leadership pontification that they hated political violence, because the ruling party did not believe in any civil political behaviour other than brutality.
Dr M’membe, the Socialist Party leader said it the ruling party allegedly encouraged, supported and sponsored political violence of their cadres, who have in the recent past been involved in violent activities including in public places such as markets and bus stations.
He said it was disgusting that suspected UPND cadres on Sunday were mobilized and transported to Chililabombwe’s Lubengele St Pius Catholic Church to lay ambush on the Patriotic Front (PF) leaders who had gone for Mass on Easter Sunday.
The PF team that attended the church service at Lubengele St Pius Catholic Church included Lusambo, Chishimba Kambwili, Richard Musukwa, Richard Kazala, Kitwe Mayor Mpasa Maya and PF Copperbelt chairperson Nathan Chanda among others.
Dr M’membe said the barbaric behaviour of the UPND cadres in Chililabombwe was strongly condemned by the Parish Priest, Fr Christopher Choowawhile there had been deafening silence from the governing party leadership.
“Do not believe or trust whatever the UPND leadership say about being against political violence. The UPND encourage, support and sponsor violence of their cadres. The UPND certainly do not like the violence of their political opponents and are truly against it. But they have no problem with violence of those who support and campaign for their party.”
He narrated that on Saturday, suspected UPND cadres followed the Socialist Party members to their camp in Serenje where they attacked the opposition supporters but the police instead arrested the victims for reporting and complaining against the behaviour of the ruling party.
Dr M’membe claimed the UPND was piling pressure on the police to arrest the victims of the ruling party violence and that it was ironical that the leadership had completely failed to condemn the violent acts.
Dr M’membe stated that if President Hakainde Hichilema was willing to end political violence, he would easily achieve the feat by stopping the violence being perpetrated by his political party.
“The UPND is using violence to stop, slowdown and frustrate the campaigns for the opposition political parties. Even the most violent people often claim they hate violence and stand for peace,” Dr M’membe said.