United Party for National Development(UPND) Lusaka Central Aspiring Candidate Mulambo Haimbe says if citizens speaking against bad electoral conduct, corruption, lawlessness, violence and bad governance portrayed by the Patriotic Front(PF) Government are being vilified and called cry babies, so be it.
Mr Haimbe said if the UPND are cry babies, then the PF are bunches of cowards who are making it difficult for other parties to compete favourably on the political platform.
This was in apparent reference to the Chilubi By-election campaigns where UPND supremo Hakainde Hichilema was ordered to leave the place to pave way for the smooth campaigns of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Speaking when he appeared on “Live Issues Programme” on Live Radio, Mr Haimbe who was in a combative mood said the term cry babies tagged on the UPND is badly used and highly misplaced.
He said it is myopic to call people who are telling the ruling party to do a right thing cry babies.
“We have a situation where the ruling party is aware that there is a by-election and takes away the means of their colleagues to compete favourably in that by-election. All accomodation, whether all not there are persons sleeping in there or there are just mosquitos there are paid for by this ruling party, using yours and my money (being tax payers), in order to ensure that they shut out their colleagues…what is there to say about being cry babies when people are doing underhand tactics to shut out their colleagues. They are scared of having a fair platform at which to compete. So, what do you do? You bring in violence, you make sure that your colleagues have difficulties to take logistics to the site, logistics being vehicles which will allow them to compete favourably. Isn’t that being a coward? How else can you define it?” Mr Haimbe said, “… So call us cry babies because we complain to the ECZ, we use the correct channel… You have mosquitos in empty rooms which you have paid for,so that you don’t allow your colleagues space to interact with electorates…that is cowardice. So, you are cowards and we are cry babies, who is worse?” the Legal Practitioner asked.
He reflected on the bad tendencies exhibited by the PF in the Chilubi By-election campaigns.
“Why should we have a situation where a post boat which cost a certain amount before a by-election began, suddenly is tripled in cost for one to travel from the main land to Chilubi Island, why should you have a situation like that? Why should you have a situation where all water vessels that are used ordinarily to transport persons from the main land to Chilubi Island be booked and taken away so that no-one can go and present themselves to the electorates.. cowardice. Those are dictatorial tendencies, there is nothing to hide about that,” he said.
Mr Haimbe however, said despite attempts by the ruling party to shut out any competition, the UPND has shown resilience by using any means necessary to reach out to the Chilubi voters.
“We are resilient and we are showing why we are an ideal choice for next Government because we have showed bravity that many Zambians thought we never had,” Mr Haimbe said, ” We were able to get bysicles and use small boats to across dangerous waters. There were times when the lake could be turbulent. The winds were often prohibitive… You can’t cross the lake at certain times but we were able to do that for the love of the people…for them to have a viable alternative. We went out of our way and we were able to reach out to voters and compete favourably. The result is not yet out, the poll has not been taken but believe me you, you can tell from the photographic footages that are available that we have done very well in Chilubi,” he said.
The Chilubi By-election campaigns have been characterised by violence, hate speech and tribal remarks.
Among them, PF Munali Member of Parliament Prof Nkandu Luo, President Edgar Lungu’s chola boy Chanda Nyela and PF cadre Bizwel Mutaale are on record telling Chilubi voters not to vote for a Tonga, a fertile ground for election nullification in an event that the ruling party wins the by-election.
But Counsel Haimbe said simple tribal remark fueled a genocide in Rwanda, saying Zambia cannot afford to go that route.