HAKAINDE Hichilema says he knows that the government is targeting him for an arrest over the gassing incidents in the country.

Hichilema, the UPND leader, is also alarmed that Vice-President Inonge Wina, “old as she is” is pushing the narrative that there is a political head to the gassing, the same way she claimed when City Market was burnt in 2017.

Hichilema was speaking at the UPND secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.

He asked those in the PF: “how much more hatred are you going to push against a fellow citizen who is only seeking leadership to liberate the people from poverty and hunger?”

Hichilema sympathised with Zambians, including school pupils, who are being gassed “yet the PF would have ended this gassing crime if they did it professionally.”

“I’m aware that as I speak here, they are positioning to arrest me. For what crime? What crime? Arrest the people who are gassing citizens! I want to ask the people of Zambia to remain strong; that regimes like this behave this way in their last days. They behave this way; frightening people, targeting wrong individuals,” he said.

“I can tell you two key things that PF want to do out of this gassing issue. (1) I repeat, to eliminate political opponents. Number two, to start an ethnic genocide in this country; that’s what they want to do and then blame it on someone, on some people who are innocent.”

Hichilema said the: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob is there, He’s watching what this evil is all about.”

“We’re not Josephs, but we are telling you a story of how an innocent person or persons can be persecuted for a crime they did not commit. God works in His own ways. God is superintending over this country; He’s watching,” he noted.

“But God needs to be assisted by us Zambians. Be strong, people of Zambia, be truthful to yourselves and to each other. Do what is right for the people of Zambia. Don’t allow evil to take over this country; too much evil.”

Hichilema stressed that right was mighty and that Zambians shall overcome the current temporally evil reigning in the country.

“We will be back on the road dealing with your hunger, dealing with your education, dealing with your concerns. I’ve just been reminded that the police have withdrawn from some of the areas and they’ve been replaced by militias wielding pangas. Militias!” Hichilema said.

He prayed that; “God help Zambia, God help the people of Zambia.”

Hichilema was distraught that those talking against the gassing crime were being accused of being involved in it.

“How can people seeking public office, through a democratic process, like us want to take to take over a country in chaos? PF is using the gassing criminality to allege that it’s the opposition involved. Inonge Wina, at her age, old as she is, can say in Parliament that there is a political head to it!” Hichilema wondered.

“How can a Vice-President talk that language of pointing a finger at innocent people? We have not forgotten that she is the same Vice-President when City Market was burned, within an hour or two, she went to City Market and said ‘we know who has burnt the market’ and UPND innocent members were arrested as a scapegoat.”

Hichilema believes that the PF government created the gassing issue and that he was saying so because: “if they didn’t, it should take only a week to end it. If they didn’t create it, they are abetting it to digress the attention of Zambians.”

“I want to ask the people of Zambia; let us unite against this gassing [and] let us protect each other from the gassing. Let’s not kill each other because we’ll be playing in the hands of those who are orchestrating these gassings. Let’s report any criminal activities to the police. I know [that] I’m one of the targets. Everybody says ‘HH will be arrested.’ What have I done to be arrested?” Hichilema asked.

“When we take office, I want to assure you [that] within the first 10 days of taking office, there will be law and order.”

Hichilema also for the first time talked about his incarceration for treason in 2018 when he was mistreated.

He said he was tortured in police cells.

“I was put away for 127 days. I was tortured. I have never talked about this. In Lilayi I was put in cell where the PF, the system, went and sprayed fresh faeces on floor and on the walls, I endured that for eight days,” Hichilema said.

“I was made to use a small tin as a toilet. It was not possible to use that tin. I have never talked about this. They want to do the same for not committing any crime, for talking against gassing,” said Hichilema.

“…One of my personal agendas, having been persecuted the most, having been brutalised the most, having been arrested the most for seeking public office to serve the people as the only crime I committed, I know the pain. And we pledge to the people of Zambia, we will, occupy a higher ground. We’ll end this nonsense of persecution; we’ll end this nonsense of segregation. We’ll end this nonsense of having a cabinet that excludes certain Zambians. We’ll bring inclusiveness.”

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