Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti says President Edgar Lungu can do more than admire dictators like Robert Mugabe.
Biti who is in the country to witness the treason trial of incarcerated United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema told a media briefing that the image of Zambia was being soiled on the international community by political events happening at the moment.
The former finance minister and leader of the People’s Democratic Party said that the crippling of the media as demonstrated by the closure of The Post Newspaper was a dent on Zambia’s democratic credentials.
“President Lungu can do better than admiring president Mugabe. He should stay away from Mugabe and build a strong democratic state not to copy all the bad things from these little people like Robert Mugabe.” He said.
Biti said that for a country that had been a symbol of smooth transition of power the emerging trend of dictatorship under President Lungu needed to be re-thought.
“We find recent events in Zambia very retrogressive and a reversal of the progressive gains that Zambia has made over the years. We now find it regrettable that Zambia is now known for the wrong reasons, the banning of political newspapers, the incarceration of opposition political leaders, the imposition of a threatened state of emergency, the ejection of African leaders and visitors in your country,” he said.
“We think that is unacceptable and we pray that Zambians go back to their natural DNA which is a DNA of love, a DNA of solidarity.”
Biti was joined at the table by South Africa’s Democratic Alliance representative Stevens Mokgalapa who is a Member of Parliament.
Hichilema who has been in jail from April 10 has pleaded not guilty to a charge of treason with his case coming up for trial on Wednesday.