Former Zambian vice-president Guy Scott has chided President Robert Mugabe over the use of political violence to remain in power.
He said he differed with his country’s president, Edgar Lungu, over the use of political violence.
“I told the president (Lungu) that if you want me back, allow all (former President Michael) Sata’s people to come back. I went all the way to western, north-western Copperbelt and I can’t just leave them. My other condition was ‘get rid of violence’.
“We don’t want this country to be like Zimbabwe. Why should we voluntarily become like Zimbabwe, where the president can lose an election and eight years later, he is still there?” Scott wondered.
Mugabe has in the past been accused of using violence against his opponents to gain support for his Zanu PF party.
“I know it’s not trivial. You have to be committed to stopping violence. I admit part of it is my fault because when I wanted William Banda out of Bauleni, I went and recruited people and say ‘can you protect the people in Bauleni’ but they themselves became thugs. I apologise, because they thought they were more powerful than police, so they started getting money from buses.”
In an interview, Scott said Lungu’s election was merely driven by the mourning period and its immediate need to replace Sata and not necessarily based on serious scrutiny of the state of affairs.
“If you look at the map of this country, half of the country is green and the other half is red. If you take the line to the Copperbelt, including towns down to the corner where Luangwa flows into the Zambezi, you will find every district on the left has majority of its people for Hichilema Hakainde.
Every district on the right is for PF or Edgar. So that tells you something. Do you want your country split into two?” Scott asked.
“We want to put an end to that split. We don’t want a split country where the majority of PF is on one side and the other majority for UPND is on the other side
If we can spread across the divide, it is a powerful unit. So the UPND is a natural factor in this because we are bringing different people to the areas. It is a complimentary situation. What you must get first and foremost is a government with strength but that has also got integrity in view of the corruption that we have in this country at the moment and the craziness.”
He said he could not join the Rainbow Party because it had no members, hence his decision to support Hichilema’s candidature.
“We have to have something that works. It is no use, for example, joining the Rainbow Party because the Rainbow Party does not have members. Are we going to be talking about Fidel Castro everyday in the newspapers or Cuba? Or Bolivia or Venezuela?” Scott asked.
And Scott said it was nonsensical for members of the PF to charge that he was a finished, old politician who had no political influence left in him.
“They are saying I am aging, who is not aging? Rupiah? Chikwanda? Inonge Wina? Who is not aging among us?
“Let them have a sweep of all the old people, then we can have a political party of people who have Grade Twelve certificates and less than 60 years old and another party of the madalas and under Grade 12s. Which group will have more people?” he asked.
Scott said it was lack of gratitude for the PF to accuse him of not supporting Lungu in the January 2015 elections.
“The last 14 days (before the election), I went to Copperbelt every single day and addressed rallies. I told people that the election was not about politics, I said ‘we are in mourning so let us choose a leader and we can talk politics later’ and they agreed. If they are now telling us that I did not support Lungu, they are liars.
“Let us see their diary of movements over that period of election. What were they doing apart from listening to my phone calls in State House?” asked Scott.