Patriotic Front Slams Government for Threatening Supporters Ahead of Lungu Court Case

The Patriotic Front (PF) has accused the UPND government of attempting to curtail the constitutional rights of citizens by threatening to arrest those who show up at court in solidarity with former President Edgar Lungu.

Speaking at a press briefing, PF Vice President Given Lubinda condemned the statement made by the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, warning that the government had information about “subversive activities” planned at the court.

“We wonder why he has not gone for those individuals instead of curtailing the constitutional right of movement of the people and their liberty to attend court proceedings,” Lubinda said.

The PF leader pointed out that the public has been allowed to attend court proceedings involving other high-profile figures in the past, including former President Hakainde Hichilema when he was the leader of the opposition.

“Why has it become different now? Court proceedings are public and it is not in the power of the minister nor the president to interfere in the judicial and administrative functions of the courts,” Lubinda stated.

The comments come as the case against former President Lungu, where a petitioner is seeking a declaration that Lungu was ineligible to contest the 2021 elections, is set to be heard on Tuesday. Lubinda urged Zambians to show up in solidarity with the former president and the integrity of the judiciary.

The PF also expressed concern over the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court regarding the expulsion of nine members of parliament, accusing the Speaker of the National Assembly of unlawfully declaring their seats vacant.

Furthermore, the party criticized President Hichilema’s statement about reaching out to meet with his predecessor, Edgar Lungu, describing it as a “hypocritical pronouncement” and calling on the current head of state to address the numerous challenges facing the country, including the cost of living crisis, economic instability, and public health issues.

“As he confronts his pronouncement about meeting ECL, we implore Mr. Hakainde to address the numerous challenges that he has inflicted on the people of Zambia,” Lubinda said.

The PF’s strong rebuke of the government’s actions and call for public support underscores the ongoing political tensions in Zambia as the country navigates the aftermath of a highly contested election and the continuing legal battles surrounding the former president.

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8th July, 2024

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