On 18th January 2022, Zambianews365.com, an online news outlet published an article which stated that UPND Youth National Chairperson, Gilbert Liswaniso had threatened to beat some Patriotic Front (PF) party members for attacking and insulting the Head of State, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. In the article, Mr. Liswaniso stated that he had no time to engage the police, but instead, would together with the UPND youths beat anyone who insults the President. He was reacting to remarks the Patriotic Front party member of the Central Committee, Raphael Nakacinda, who he accused of defaming President Hichilema and inciting violence.
The Fact Checking process has determined as true the claim that UPND Youth National Chairperson Gilbert Liswaniso has threatened to physically attack some Patriotic Front members who he accused of insulting the Head of State, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. Mr. Hichilema, as leader of the UPND, was elected President of Zambia on 12th August 2021.
In a video obtained from UPND Youths Zambia Facebook Page and fact checked by iVerify, UPND Youth National Chairperson, Gilbert Liswaniso did warn that if any one attacked and insulted President Hichilema on a personal level, they would be beaten and not be free in Lusaka. In a statement issued to the media and obtained by iVerify, Mr. Liswaniso further stated that his warning was directed at the colleagues in the PF whom he cautioned that if they continued to engage in personal attacks on the President, they would be physically attacked. He advised them to offer positive criticism. Mr. Liswaniso stressed that he did not depend or need to seek police intervention to deal with anyone who attacked and insulted the President but would physically deal with that person.
Considering that the statement threatened violence, iVerify contacted Zambia Police Spokesperson Mr. Rae Hamoonga who acknowledged seeing the video in circulation on social media. He said that citizens needed to understand that no one is above the law to take police matters in their hands. He advised that any person who had any kind of issue should report the matter to Police to avoid political violence.