UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says he is ready to face the police for interrogations and has vowed that he will continue speaking for the people as long as he is alive.
And Hichiema says he has not incited anyone to riot, but the PF is doing so through theft and corruption.
Last Friday, the Copperbelt police command summoned Hichilema to appear at Ndola Central Police for questioning, after the opposition leader was accused of inciting the riots that broke out in Kitwe on Monday.
State House has blamed Hichilema for the uprising, saying his claims that government has sold ZAFFICO to the Chinese was provocative and enraged the rioting residents.
But Hichilema insists that he has not incited anyone to riot, stressing that he will not be intimidated into silence. The UPND has also notified police that Hichilema will instead appear for questioning next week Tuesday and not tomorrow, in order to allow him attend a family bereavement.
“We know that the PF is trying to use intimidation tactics; they want to silence everybody who is speaking for the people. But we are not cowards; we are not going to stop talking for the people. We will keep highlighting the stealing that is going on. These problems that the country is going through are a creation of the PF. We warned them about everything that is happening now. We told them to stop borrowing recklessly. But they did not listen, so now the problem that they created has come back to eat them; what do they do? They start blaming us who were warning them. They are blaming the collapsing economy on HH, the kwacha fall it’s HH, the death of Vespers is HH, the riots in Kitwe is HH; everything is HH, even when the rains delay, the blame will be HH,” he lamented.
“So I don’t know what the police want to hear from us, but we are not afraid, we will avail ourselves because we are law abiding citizens, we don’t run away from the law. But let me tell you something about this ZAFFICO scandal, we are far ahead of them. We know exactly what they are doing. I can tell you that there is a link between the Chinese, the Mukula and the sell of ZAFFICO. Even the timing can tell you that these things are interlinked. They want to have unquestionable access to the natural resources that belong to the people of Zambia. And when we question this, they say we have incited people. It is them who are inciting people by their theft, their selling our country to people who are not even genuine investors. Michael Sata, is turning in his grave when he sees what these people are doing to the country that he loved.”
He stressed that he never incited the Kitwe residents to riot.
“HH has not incited anyone to riot; if you have failed to govern you cannot put the blame on HH. When our times comes, we will take responsibility for our policies, we will not blame the opposition. Instead we will listen to the people and do the right thing. What we are saying is that Zambians don’t have money to buy any shares in ZAFFICO, they don’t even have money to put food on the table because the PF has messed up the economy. Only those who are cutting corrupt deals from government are the ones who have the money; and we all know which foreigners these are who will buy the shares,” said Hichilema.
“So how is it inciting people to riot when you say leave ZAFFICO for the people of Zambia and don’t sell it to foreigners? That is what we are saying on behalf of the citizens, and we will not stop talking. As long as HH is alive, he will not give up talking for the people, we are ready to die for them and their suffering.”