The video circulating online showing Mr Mtolo Phiri, the Minister of Agriculture, issuing reckless threats over the FISP programme is most unfortunate and dangerous.
In the video, Mr Phiri is seen urging people to report anyone heard talking about the FISP programme in unfavourable terms to the police so that such people could get arrested.
But why must people be threatened with arrests by the government when they have a right to protest or complain against the authorities over the many issues causing them untold suffering and hardship? Why should government accuse citizens of attempting to “bring war” as Mr Phiri puts it, for merely debating or discussing an agricultural programme?
Why is it that threats of arrests, detention, treason, sedition and so on and so forth, has become the best defence for Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s government whenever it’s challenged or called to be accountable for its policies and actions?
Clearly, this corrupt puppet regime, which is headed by Mr Hichilema, does not want to be held accountable for its failures, crimes and abuses in the way they’re running the country. They want to have a free reign to do what they want and to have their own interests safeguarded without any distractions. They’re allergic to health political discourse and contestation of ideas for the benefit of our country and it’s people.
Going by their record so far, Mr Hichilema and his league have no intention whatsoever to change their minds about the wrong policies and notions they hold about the country, it’s people and it’s future. It’s evident that these are not true liberal democrats. They’re just quacks and ignorant democrats who wrongly believe that they have a moral responsibility to do what is necessary and best for themselves in order to perpetuate their greedy political agenda, even if it means going against the law and the Constitution. Theirs is an agenda to satisfy themselves first and foremost, and then the people and the country later through a little bit of trickle down approaches. They’re pretentious gluttons who are not even fully aware of the extent and consequences of the problems they’re creating, the unnecessary difficulties they are our people, especially the poor, through.
However, we are glad that the pretense or claim of being liberal democrats to the core is rapidly peeling away off. As evidenced by the constant threats of interrogation, arrest and detention by the police, they keep making each time their ideas or policies are challenged.
This regime has shown that whenever Mr Hichilema and his league are roasted for their own lies, deceit and lack of delivery; the police and prison cells are the best response they are able to provide. They have created a culture of hiding their inefficiencies in the abuse of the police. It’s obvious that they’re not people who fully grasp political debate or are willing to exchange ideas and later on find solutions to problems currently facing the country.
And we are getting more and more convinced each day that if they’re not careful, this regime will soon become a killing machine. What is even more dangerous about them is their reckless disregard for the law and the haste to make clowns of themselves through the unprecedented and predictable abuse of law enforcement, especially the police. They have weaponised the police in order to silence critical voices. They have literally criminalised dissent so that they’re not scrutinised or challenged.
They have anchored their political survival and influence on the abuse of the police and other law enforcement agencies. No wonder they’re not ashamed to use the police in prescribing the most unreasonable and ridiculous charges against the critics they don’t like. Their goal is to silence the critics through brutality, vindictiveness and pettiness.
But it will backfire badly in the end, especially if they don’t grasp the reality that power has limits too. Mr Hichilema and his league must realise that there has never been a regime in history that remained afloat through heavy reliance on the abuse of the police and the criminal justice system. People have always resisted these kinds of abuses in the long run and have always voted against such leadership.
It’s important for Mr Hichilema to know that as long as we don’t know where the country is heading and our people’s livelihood continue to deteriorate owing to their puppet and pro imperialist policies, we shall not keep quiet about the situation.
We understand the panic and fear in them. We also understand the pressure and confusion that is raging in this regime as it continues to push its disastrous policies but we urge them to be careful in the manner they are taking advantage of state systems and institutions.
Otherwise, they may go down in history as the worst government to have ruled this country. This is a possibility they are faced with today. The decision is theirs to take and we are not afraid of them. And we remind them: the exercise of power must be a constant practice of self limitation and modesty.
President of the Socialist Party