Friday, October 18, 2013

'Criminals will associate themselves with power'
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 27 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-President Guy Scott says it cannot be denied that criminals will associate themselves with power. And MMD acting national secretary Kapembwa Simbao says there is so much fear among citizens to speak out on various issues affecting the country.

During a recording of a BBC Focus on Africa debate programme yesterday at the Government Complex, whose title was: 'Can democracy deliver for Africa', But Vice-President Scott, who was among the panelists for the debate, dismissed the allegations that the PF was taking the country backwards in terms of democracy.

He said the people that were critical of the government were relaxed and free to do so.

"They are all relaxed and even smiling at me. If they really believe I am a hyena or a representative of hyenas, they will not be smiling, they will be running the other way," he said.

Vice-President Scott said even the cadres that were allegedly terrorising citizens had not been born and drawn up in the last two years of the PF's rule.

He said the cadres had always been around even before the PF came into power and many of them were cadres of the MMD.

"There are a lot of unemployed youths who find it very politic to associate themselves or to wear the regalia and assume the title of the ruling party. We are cracking down on illegal land grabbing issues. It cannot be denied that criminals will associate themselves with power, it happens. What is important in a democracy is that the rule of law is applied and that is what PF is doing," Vice-President Scott said.

He said there was need for strong and independent institutions.
And Simbao claimed that the PF was driving the country into so much fear.

"Members of parliament have been made to keep quiet unless when they are in the House," said Simbao.

During the same debate, MMD president Nevers Mumba said the PF government does not understand or respect democracy. He said the PF had a culture of violence.

"We need our freedoms back. It will improve the economy, it will improve the social services," said Mumba.

And Linda Kasonde, a representative of the Law Association of Zambia, said there was a lot of intolerance to dissenting views on the Zambian political scene.

Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, who was part of the audience, said ordinary people see democracy as something that has to deliver social amenities.

Maureen said the opposition and the government needed to give each other space.

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