Editor's PickPower and Politics

Citizens First party calls for national dialogue to address rising political tensions


The Citizens First (CF) party has called on President Hakainde Hichilema to consider convening an indaba to address pressing national issues such as tribalism, hate speech and the reported harassment of former president Edgar Lungu.

Party spokesperson, Frank Sichone, noted that individuals who issued tribal remarks or made hate speeches in support of the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) were not arrested, while only opposition figures were being made to face legal consequences.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday, Sichone while emphasizing that his party does not condone any form of tribalism alleged thus: “Arrests are only made when opposition members issue tribal sentiments, while those aligned with the government are spared.”

He added that this selective enforcement exacerbates feelings of marginalization and suppression among people from certain regions.

Sichone stressed the importance of fairness in addressing these issues, regardless of who committed the offense.

Read More: New Heritage Party leader, Kateka, reports UPND officials for allegedly threatening violence and hate speech

“To resolve this problem, the President needs to immediately call for an insaka (round table dialogue), a time to sit down with all parties and help heal the nation,” Sichone urged.

He reminded the President that tribalism and national tension could be eliminated through threats or the arrest of opponents.

“As parties come to this insaka, we will recommend that the church mediates to help diffuse the tension in the nation,” Sichone advised.

He noted that many UPND supporters celebrated the arrest of opposition leaders, further heightening national tensions.

In addition, Sichone accused the government of using the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to intimidate members of the former first family, describing it as a political witch hunt.

He demanded that President Hichilema cease the harassment of the former first family and respect them, just as he would expect to be respected once he leaves office in 2026.

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