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I will stand in 2021 – LunguBy Mirriam Chabala on 5 Jan 2017
I WILL stand in 2021, says President Edgar Lungu.
And President Lungu says those who feel “bigger than the party” must leave.
Speaking when he arrived in Kalulushi today January 5, 2017 to quell divisions that have rocked the Copperbelt since the Head of State appointed Bowman Lusambo and other ‘new comers’ to Cabinet, President Lungu said he had read the Constitution and concluded that he was eligible to stand again in 2021.
“I read the Constitution yesterday, I am eligible for 2021. If you want you can go to the Constitutional Court. I am eligible to stand for elections in 2021 and God willing if I am around, if I am still alive, I will stand,” President Lungu said.
And in apparent reference to former information minister Chishimba Kambwili, President Lungu said those who thought they were bigger than the PF should resign.
Kambwili, who has been very critical of President Lungu’s decision to embrace ‘new comers’ at the expense of old PF members, was dismissed on November 8, 2016 and he has since mobilized a revolt on the Copperbelt.
But President Lungu said he was aware of the division in the party.
“I have come here to see for myself what’s going on. You lie to me that you are united and friendly towards one another but I know that there are problems…But I did not put myself here. it is people who put me here, they repose trust and confidence in me that’s why they put me here and I have a duty to serve them to the best of my ability so I will not allow divisive elements in the party. You cannot sit in a meeting in Luanshya and say Lungu nafilwa [Lungu has failed], I have just started working. I want you to know that I know what’s going on on the Copperbelt. There are people who think that they own the party because they were the first recruits. It doesn’t work like that,” he said.
“So you have to welcome new members and not say twafula shani (how have we become a lot). This young man Bowman Lusambo came from MMD, his predecessor came from UPND to join us but it doesn’t matter. What matters is what value are you bringing to the party? If it wasn’t for the MMD partnering with us, we wouldn’t have gotten the 50%+1 that we needed to win elections. So balya abaleiumfwa, bafumemo (those who feel they are everything must leave). Ukuichefya, abantu balekuimya (when you humble yourself. People exalt you).”
President Lungu described Kambwili as nothing.
“With what I am hearing where they are praising themselves, there is nothing like that in life. Mr Chairman, Mr Minister, you are safe under my watch because these are the people who matter, not one individual. I want to make this very clear, someone has been trying to call me ‘can I talk to the President, can I talk to the President’ but I say sorry I won’t talk to you, I shall see you in the Central Committee [meetings] or elsewhere. Because umunwe umo tausalanda iyo. You are nothing,” he said.
“So let us value the people who matter. All of us, today it is Edgar Lungu tomorrow it is someone else. People will determine who will take over from me. Not an individual saying ‘now it’s me’, that’s a lie. I didn’t know I could be President but people gave me confidence.”
Meanwhile, the Head of State announced that all PF members who had stood as independent candidates in the last general elections had been pardoned.
“If anyone thinks he is bigger and better, he is just lying to himself. I know what’s going on and I am in charge. I have also come with a message of goodwill which is that all those who stood as independents have been pardoned today. All those who are members of parliament have been pardoned today, let’s shake hands and move together but it depends on how they will conduct themselves going forward…not what you did last time; voting against the party in parliament,” said President Lungu.
The President said he had read the constitution and was eligible to stand
“I am eligible if you want go to Constitution Court they will tell
you I am eligible to stand in 2021 and God willing and if people allow
I will stand,” declared President Lungu.
The President further challenged individuals who felt like were more
PF or bigger than the party to leave PF and be on there own.
“I know there are people on the Copperbelt who think they own the
party because they were the first consecrates or recruits of the party
it does not happen like that. I want to make this very clear that even
in the scripture in the bible we learn had 12 disciples but how many
are we today if not for recruitment and growth. We welcome new
members,” President Lungu said.
“I want to sound this very clearly, this man Bowman Lusambo came from
MMD….But it does not matter what matters is what value are you
bringing to the party. If it was not for partnering with MMD we would
have not gotten the 50 +1 to win elections.” the President said.
He stated that he governed the country with the will of the people and
not individual ideas because according to him, an individual alone can
not make a party.
“Umunwe umo tausala nda iyo. Let us value the people who matter,
people will determine who will take over me not an individual saying
ninebo fyabufi (its me, thats a lie)……. So if anyone thinks he’s
bigger he’s better alebepafye (they are lying) only when people say
you are bigger and better…..I know what is going on and I’am in
charge,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, the President has pardoned all independent members of
parliament who stood against the party and has vowed to work with
“All those who stood as independent have been pardoned today, all
those who lost as independents have been pardoned today let’s shake
hands and move together but it depends on how you conduct
yourselves….At the end of the day we are one, we are moving together
as one,” said the President.
And President Lungu said he was aware of the happenings in Luanshya
and Chimwemwe townships of the Copperbelt and so he reminded everyone
of his all inclusive policy to welcome new members just like the
Christian faith welcomes all members.THOUSANDS of Zambian soccer fans have taken to social media to express their displeasure after discovering that football icon Kalusha Bwalya voted against Rainford Kalaba at the 2016 Glo-CAF Awards Gala.
The president further Challenged anyone against his position to
contest the 2021 elections to go the constitutional court and seek the
interpretation of his position.
President Lungu is on the Copperbelt for state and party commitments
in the company of Party Central Committee Members.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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