PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya says it is the party’s prayer that President Edgar Lungu will be fit to stand in 2021.
And Bwalya mocked Hakainde Hichilema over reports that police officers ate food and stole money during the overnight raid at the incarcerated UPND leader’s house on April 10.
Speaking when he featured on the Lusaka Star program on UNZA Radio today, Bwalya said Lungu was the ruling party’s main ‘striker’ and a priority candidate for the next general elections.
“A coach who decides to keep his leading scorer, the main striker, the first choice striker on the bench for a crucial game and yet this striker has no impediments whatsoever to feature, would be considered foolish, very very foolish. And when a line-up is announced in the stadium, you may even have chaos breaking out because the people will demand to know why Renaldo is not on the line-up when he is fit? If you don’t see him on the line-up, it can only mean that he is injured or he could be suspended,” Bwalya said.
“Our prayer is that by 2021, President Edgar Lungu should be fit, our prayer is that there will be no impediment to stop him. He is our main striker and Zambians are the coach.”
Bwalya also said it was possible that police did not record Mrs Mutinta Hichilema’s complaint of theft by officers during the time her husband was arrested because it was going to be a waste of paper and ink.
“It’s very surprising that someone who spent a lot of money to make a banker for hiding failed to make a safer for keeping money. So I think this is why police didn’t record Mrs Hichilema’s complaint because they saw that they would waste paper and ink to record a baseless complaint. Why didn’t they secure the money because they had a lot of time to think about that when police where still forcing their way in the house. Unless they tell us that it was not possible for them to secure all the money because it was in the fridge and in all areas,” he said.
“If I was a police officer and I went to arrest somebody, am talking about myself, and that somebody hides in the banker for hours and hours and there is some food, I maybe tempted to eat something because I may be hungry, I expected that this person will corporate and present themselves we go to the police station. But at the end of the day! I would avoid eating it because there could have left those things as a set-up, you eat as an officer then you have diarrhea and fail to apprehend him.”
Bwalya, a former catholic priest, further said it was a political statement born out of cheap politicking to say that Zambia was already in a State of Emergency.
“President Lungu never said that the opposition have caused too much problems in this country, or that we don’t want them to continued offering checks and balances, and ‘in order to stop this, I am going to declare a State of Emergency. There was something that he stated and continued by saying that ‘should this continue, I may consider declaring a State of Emergency.’ When he said I may consider declaring, it didn’t mean that he will declare,” Bwalya said.
He added that there was no public office that was immune to criticism, whether right or wrong.
Bwalya said that no Zambian was prevented from calling for resignation of any government official perceived not to be doing well as long as such calls were on merit.
“When the Inspector General of police is not doing his job as he should, as perceived, there is no Zambian that can be prevented, there is no political party that can be prevented from calling for these resignation. Even when the president is perceived as not doing well, people can call for the President to step down. When somebody calls for the I.G or the President to step down, all you need to do is to look at the merits of such calls, sometimes these calls are made to be a wake-up call,” explained Bwalya.
“There is no public office that is immune to criticism, right or wrong. But the manner in which that criticism is done matters, you may go over board into dangerous grounds of libel, it could even be criminal libel and so on. But as far as we are concerned, Madam Mumbi Phiri never committed libel when she called for the I.G to step down after the Mongu incident.”