United Party for National Development (UPND) has accused PF of cutting power at Kariba Radio station prior to the party president Hakainde Hichilema’s scheduled appearance on radio yesterday.
In a statement made to the media, the party accused ZESCO of colluding with the ruling party to curtail the voices of those with dissenting views. The party wondered why PF has resorted to using institutions such as Zesco to switch off power each time they hear that HH is on the radio.
Below is the full Statement
The United Party for National Development (UPND) wishes to condemn in no uncertain terms the power blackout that occurred at Kariba Radio station prior to president Hakainde Hichilema’s scheduled appearance this morning.
First and foremost, what transpired at Kariba FM amounts to an act of sabotage in which the power utility firm seems to have colluded with the ruling PF to curtail the voices of those with dissenting views.
If the PF are as popular as they claim and if it’s true that HH is a regional leader, why is the PF damn scared of Mr Hichilema and have resorted to using institutions such as Zesco to switch off power each time they hear that HH is on radio?
We feel that this act is undemocratic as it denies the general citizenry access to information especially from opinion leaders of HH’s calibre who may want to sell their manifesto and the messages of hope they have to the general citizenry.
Thirdly, the act amounts to an indictment and infringement on the fundamental rights and freedoms of HH as a Zambian which in turn curtails his freedoms of expressions.
It is surprising that this trend has continued to flourish despite strong condemnation from various stakeholders including Government itself following the spate of attacks on media houses across the country recently.
The PF should be reminded that the UPND is in possession of first hand information of how the unfortunate decision was arrived at and they should not tempt us to reveal more.
Therefore, we are demanding that Zesco should not accept to be used by PF as this act amounts to abuse of public office.
Finally, we wish to reiterate our calls for the enactment of the Access to Information Bill (AIB) because the freedom of expression far supercedes the Bill itself because it is embedded in the Republican Constitution.