Chief Government Spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya in a statement obtained by QFM News says Mr Hichilema’s statement should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
Mr Kapeya says the commemoration of independence is not a PF function or government but that is a national event used to pay tribute to the forefathers who fought for the freedom which every Zambian including Mr Hichilema is enjoying today.
He says Mr Hichilema is not punishing anyone by his stance, but that he is simply showing contempt to those who fought for the rights of Zambians, people such as first republic president Kenneth Kaunda others.
He adds that the UPND leader as an opposition leader has a duty to himself and the voters to play the role of an alternative government, and uphold the importance of celebrating national events.
Mr Kapeya who is also Information and Broadcasting services Minister has urged Mr Hichilema to act statesmanlike and in national interest, adding that urging people to shun independence celebrations is far from being an alternative policy.
He adds that the presence of MMD president Nevers Mumba and other opposition leaders during the interdenominational thanksgiving service to commemorate Zambia’s 49th independence anniversary and launch of the 2014 Golden Jubilee gives hope that government and the opposition can co-exist.