The opposition UPND has charged that the prosecution of prominent business man Rajan Mahtani amounts to xenophobia.
UPND Deputy Spokesman Edwin Lifwekelo said in a statement that Zambians must stand up and condemn all manifestations of Xenophobia and Xenophobic harassment of innocent citizens like Dr Mahtani.
Mr Lifwekelo said there are a lot of criminals going about doing their business with their heads high just because they are in good books with those in power.
He said a domestic economy must be developed under policies that favour local companies and businessmen and women like Dr Mahtani.
Mr Lifwekelo said the creation of the Mahtani group of companies has helped to alleviate unemployment in Zambia adding that Dr Mahtani deserves everyone’s support.
‘Late President Sata’s vision was to empower indigenous Zambians like Rajan Mahtani and others. This is why immediately he assumed office he repossessed Zamtel and gave back Finance Bank to the rightful owners,’ Mr Lifwekelo stated.
He added, ‘the MMD who are now slowly swallowing PF have started de-constructing Sata’s vision. In any case we are surprised why government is so interested in the battles between the Italians and Rajan Mahtani. Why is there so much interest in this matter?’ he questioned.
Mr Lifwekelo said the harassment of Dr. Mahtani by the state is disingenuous, disrespectful and misleading to the struggle for economic emancipation and respect of local investors.
‘The nation appears to lack institutional capacity to strengthen good democratic governance. The selective application of the law among citizens is of great concern to UPND.’
He said, ‘as the first contact of the criminal justice system, the police are expected to be impartial in the manner they discharge their duties and in the discharge their duties and in the treatment of citizens, unfortunately Dr Mahtani appears to be a victim of a vicious conspiracy by a group of people.’
‘We agree that corruption is a major challenge that must be fought for this country to see development, however there seems to be an orchestrated ploy by some individuals that want to settle political battles by using the state to discredit and harass Dr. Mahtani.’
Mr Lifwekelo added, ‘this is totally unacceptable and against the spirit of one Zambia one nation. The state must not be used to settle political scores by persons that have issues with Dr. Mahtani or the post News paper.’
He said, ‘Our position on this matter is not to defend Dr. Rajan Mahtani for any wrongs he may have committed but to seek justice and truth on matters that were closed under the Michael Sata administration but have now been opened under the Edgar Lungu administration, we smell a rat.’
‘We believe very strongly that someone is orchestrating this vilification and malicious prosecution of Dr. Rajan Mahtani by investing so much in his prosecution though not knowing the interior motives.
Settling political issues using the state is sending wrong signals to the outside world. We must stop this politics of patronage and embrace the spirit of love and hard work among Zambians.’