The Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has slammed opposition political party leaders that have called for the withdrawal of donor support because of the incarceration of United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema.
People's Party leader Mike Mulongoti, Alliance for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi and former MMD president Nevers Mumba have called on donors to withdraw their support because Mr Hichilema is currently in detention awaiting a treason trial.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said it was irresponsible for the opposition leaders to call for that because should the donors withdraw their support, many poor Zambians would suffer.
"It is not (President) Edgar Lungu or the Cabinet ministers that are going to suffer, it is the poor people that depend on donor support that are going to suffer," Mr Mwanza said in a statement.
Mr Mulongoti recently told the media that the incarceration of Mr Hichilema was proof that Zambia's democracy under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu was under threat.
Mr Mulongoti said donors should, therefore, withdraw aid to compel the Government to respect the rule of law and the tenets of democracy.
But Mr Mwanza said the statements from the three leaders were misplaced and outrageous.
Mr Mwanza said leadership called for high levels of responsibility in what was said or done.
He said opposition leaders should be patriotic and mindful of their statements and possible effects of what they said.
Mr Mwanza said if donor aid was withdrawn, the opposition leaders agitating for its removal would not suffer as they had access to funding to seek medical attention abroad.
He said the treason case was before the court and, therefore, it was only right that everybody allowed the due process of the law to take its course.