We have noted with great concern the stance adopted by the British High Commissioner to Zambia, Mr Nicholas Woolley, regarding Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s government’s corrupt fight against corruption and the rising incidences of torture and brutality by the police.
High Commissioner Woolley is quoted by Radio Phoenix as having said that investigations by law enforcement agencies should not be taken as harassment but restoration of order and that Zambia’s civic space had not shrunk because citizens had continued to enjoy renewed democracy through progressive laws under Mr Hichilema’s administration.
We are not surprised with High Commissioner Woolley’s assessment of the situation in Zambia today owing to the personal relationship he has cultivated with Mr Hichilema. And it’s this close connection, which makes him a blind and biased assessor and renders his opinions unreasonable and useless.
We have no problem with his close relationship with Mr Hichilema but he should not try to project that relationship on our national affairs because if he continues, we will treat him as an extension of Mr Hichilema’s government and go for him. What doesn’t concern him, he should leave it alone.
High Commissioner Woolley is increasingly playing as if he is an active player in Zambian politics. He is not a Zambian politician. He is a British diplomat. If he continues playing as if he was a Zambian politician, that diplomatic respect we have for him will be lifted. He is all over Zambian political affairs like a rat!
Let him know that he is not the Governor of Northern Rhodesia but a British diplomat in Zambia. The last Governor of Northern Rhodesia, Sir Evelyn Hone, left in 1964 and we will not allow a new one to emerge – we are nolonger a British colony or possession.
We are faced with an excessively brutal and corrupt regime, which is abducting and torturing citizens for merely voicing dissert and he has the nerve to play down such atrocities as restoration of order. Can such happen in the UK and it’s accepted? Can the UK Prime Minister refuse to declare his assets and business interests, and its accepted? The British removed prime ministers even for the smallest of things – having a small party, some little entertainment – during the COVID-19 lock down – yet he wants to approach the very serious matters facing the Zambian people today with a superior and contemptuous attitude. We demand respect and that High Commissioner Woolley begins to consider our national affairs with befitting gravitas.
We know that Woolley was a clone trooper who served in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars with the 212th Attack Battalion, but this is a very different place and time. He is dealing with a very different people, in very different place and very different time in a very wrong way.
President of the Socialist Party