The democratic alliance leader, my brother, mr mmusi maimane,
distinguished invited guests,
members of the press and
ladies and gentlemen,
to start with, allow me to greet you all on behalf of my fellow zambians back home, i want to say thank you for inviting us to come and share with you our country’s current standing.
my brothers and sisters, we are here to reaffirm our
commitment towards the upholding of democracy in our respective countries, and africa at large.
however, before i go in detail, please allow me to thank
the following people who stood firm and demanded for
our release when we were arrested and detained on
treason trumped charge:
1. to the people of this great nation, i say thank you for
standing up for me.
2. to my brother mr mmusi maimane, i say thank you for
standing up for democracy in my country, and please
allow me to apologize on behalf of the 16 million
zambians over what happened to you on our soil as you
wanted to attend my court trial and visit me in prison.
3. to the south african unions, (numsa) i say thank you,
because you stood up for my country when your fellow
unions were supressed or indeed feared for their lives and could not talk when injustices begun in my country.
4. to the church, i say may god, the almighty richly bless you as you have always shown leadership even when others may call you names, you still speak for the
oppressed and please continue just like you did when i was brutally detained.
5. i want to say thank you to former nigerian president,
president olusegun obasanjo for his statesmanship and
please allow me to thank the international community
which stood up and are still doing so for democracy in
zambia and world over, as you maybe aware that to a
large extent our regional bodies turned a blind eye on
the atrocious, and all that comes with dictatorship,
especially in the southern african region but also africa as a whole.
6. commonwealth secretary general, the right
honourable baroness patricia scotland, i say thank you too.
ladies and gentlemen, the list of those to thank is endless but i want once more thank people in my country who have been suffocated by those who do not value human rights, good governance and justice for all.
facts regarding our arrest
ladies and gentlemen, allow me to quickly run you
through how we were brutally arrested on the 10th of
april 2017 as the police brutally tortured us on the very
day from 21:00 hours to about 04:00 hours zambian time.
1. over 200 police brutally attacked us, and vandalised
our residence and tortured us for no reason but later
arrested us for treason, a trumped up charge which we did not commit.
2. i was put in solitary confinement for 8 days,
3. i was put in a police cell full of feacal matter.
4. i was moved from prison to prison.
5. i was made to answer the call of nature using a bucket.
however, ladies and gentlemen, we are here to tell you
that despite all this brutality and inhuman treatment
that those in authority made us go through, we harbour no hate, we are not bitter and we forgive them and we will use their brutality on us to make zambia a safe home for all including neighbouring countries.
and this drives me to the next point;
current state of affairs in our country, zambia
ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer arguable that our
country zambia is undergoing very difficult times, where citizens cannot fully stand to talk and say this is the zambia we want.
1. suffice to say that, as hakainde hichilema, i remain
indebted to the people of my country, our country does
not need guns or mighty men with guns but its need
leadership, leadership that will realise that god hates
2. breakdown in the rule of law; there is an absolute
breakdown in the rule of law in my country which need
urgent attention by all well meaning bodies.
3. elections; i was arrested because of disputing election results through the courts of law, therefore zambia needs an independent electoral commission if democracy is to be resuscitated.
4.judiciary; zambia needs an independent judiciary that
will opetate freely unlike a situation where in the
morning the constitutional court rules that a
presidential petition will be heard the following day but when that day comes, they say no, time has lapsed.
5. freedoms: ladies and gentlemen, i am glad that my
brothers and sisters here in south africa can go about
and wear clothes branded by their political parties of
choice unlike in our country, people from our party are
daily being maimed for wearing our regalia and this is
why we call on the people of south africa to join in the
struggle for democracy in zambia, remember how zambia joined hands with south africa during the struggle, where has that humanism gone to?
6. freedoms: the media in our country is not safe, there is no press freedom in my country, journalists are getting arrested even on flimsy charges such as terrorism, private newspapers, radio and television have been getting closed; post newspaper, komboni radio, itezhi tezhi and muvi television. and is urinating into a journalist’s mouth press freedom? well, that is not a surprise to us as cadres from the ruling party have done that in zambia.
7. freedoms: there is no freedom of assembly,
association, speech and this is why we are saying that
neighbouring countries must not watch these injustices
go on, because what affects zambia, affects all and
therefore we must all stop this.
ladies and gentlemen, as hakainde hichilema, i will remain committed to ensuring that zambia stops anyone
practising dictatorship, i believe that power belongs to
the people and that zambia is not an highland and
therefore i again call on other countries that believe in humanism, fundamental human rights and democracy to join in restoring democracy in zambia.
yes, we are ready to talk with anyone and we mean
anyone with bold stance that yes, zambia needs
institutional reforms such as those of the police among
i want the best for zambia and i want the best for africa, after all, we all want the best for the world, so let us all work towards that.
may god bless our two sisterly countries, may god bless
africa and may god bless the whole globe.