Outspoken Patriotic Front (PF) member of the Central Committee in Charge of Information and Publicity Raphael Nakacinda has vowed that arrests will not silence him over matters of public interest.
Featuring on a Hot FM radio show on Monday morning, Mr. Nakacinda said even if his life was in danger he would still speak the truth and justice for the people of Zambia.
Mr. Nakacinda has been arrested at least three times in the last six months over comments he has been making in the media especially against President Hakainde Hichilema.
Last December, Police in Lusaka recorded a warn and caution statement from Mr. Nakacinda for the offence of defamation of the President following his arrest and detention at Chelstone Police Station.
Police further arrested and detained Mr. Nakacinda in January and April over similar offences of proposing violence and defaming the President.
“Our jobs as opposition is to raise issues that have public interest and to that effect the reason why those in government have spokespersons. At the state house, government and even in the Ministry of Information they even have cadres who are also spokespersons. Use them; let them speak on behalf of the government. Ours is to speak on behalf of the Zambian people. If I hear that Mr. Hakainde Hichilema in Cape Town he has sold-out to imperialists in terms of the mining rights. You want me to come here with evidence? If I get that information I will blow it so that the Zambian people know that we have been shortchanged again. These puppets of imperialists, this is what they have done,” Mr. Nakacinda said.
“That is the job we are doing. Of course it is a risky job, we are being threatened. Right now as we speak Mr. Moderator (radio presenter), a team of UPND cadres plus some disgruntled police officers and other security agencies who have been put together to start head-hunting individuals and among the people who are on the list is myself and I want to say to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. Even if you arrest us, even if you start now wanting to temper with our lives we will not stop speaking on behalf of the Zambian people. We have done it before; we will do it now because even if you decide to take my life I can assure you and cut my body in one thousand pieces. Each piece will still speak for justice; each piece will still speak for the truth, each piece will still speak for the interest of the Zambian people. That is why we offered ourselves for service in this regard,” he said.
On the same radio programme, Mr. Nakacinda declared as a hoax the United Party for National Development (UPND) government’s crusade against corruption.
Mr. Nakacinda alleged that the executive led by President Hakainde Hichilema is meddling in the affairs of the judiciary thereby defeating separation of powers.
The immediate past Minister of Water Development further condemned President Hichilema for firing High Court judge Joshua Banda and for suspending judge Sunday Nkonde of the industrial relations division for alleged gross misconduct.
“I think it is important as we proceed, some of the concerns we have in the so-called fight against corruption. For me today one of the things I came to express as we continue to zoom is the risk that the judiciary or the threat that the judiciary is faced with from the executive. So far we have my uncle Honorable Vincent Malambo who is chair of the JCC (Judicial Complaints Commission) and he is also chair of the LPC, the Legal Practitioners Committee responsible for disciplinary processes at LAZ (Law Association of Zambia). In this case when it comes to lawyers that is how come most of the lawyers nowadays are timid even to take up some cases because there is a slaughter house that has been created at LAZ to deal with perceived nonaligned lawyers toward the ruling party,” Mr. Nakacinda said.
“Even in the judiciary, there are predetermined positions toward specific judges and also a predetermined position toward specific courts. There is a position to get rid of certain courts. That is the way the ball is playing is that the Minister of Justice who is a partner to Honourable Vincent Malambo in the same law firm Malambo and whatever are called. They are partners. So they are playing this game and mind you my uncle Honourable Vincent Malambo is just that really I am a little disappointed is one of the people I felt that would rise above regardless but so far it is a bit challenging because I expected him to declare interest,” he added.