Patriotic Front deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says Nic Cheesman, a Professor of Democracy at the United Kingdom’s Birmingham University, knows nothing about democracy and needs to relook its definition.

In a lengthy statement today, Mumbi discredited an article which Prof Cheesman wrote titled “We need to talk about Zambia as it falls from grace under President Lungu”.

Read the article here.

Mumbi said the PF had a duty to call out lies and cheap propaganda manufactured against itself whether locally or abroad as the party had a good name to protect.

“In this regard, Patriotic Front takes great exception to the article written by someone who has identified himself as Nic Cheeseman, so called Professor of Democracy at Birmingham University and published by and some local newspaper in Zambia…Cheeseman is nothing but an attention-seeking Professor who thinks he can lecture us about democracy. He is among those who seek to misinform the world that Zambia is a country on fire, when the opposite is true…Professor Cheeseman should revisit his academic definition of democracy as stated by former US President Abraham Lincoln who said a democracy is ‘a government of the people, for the people and by the people’. Cheeseman would also be wise to know that the voice of the people, is the voice of God,” Mumbi said.

“Let Cheeseman visit Zambia and he will see that we are a nation at peace with itself and with her neighbouring countries. Cheeseman’s article must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves especially that the author claims to be a professor in democracy but understands very little about what democracy is. We’ll seek to comment on several lies he has raised in his article.”

She stated that President Edgar Lungu was democratically elected by the people of Zambia and as such he deserved respect from Prof Cheesman and others.

Mumbi further stated that the statement issued by the Catholic Bishops which branded Zambia a dictatorship was his own personal opinion.

“Cheeseman creates the impression that there was a letter authored by all Catholic Bishops which labelled Zambia as a dictatorship. We wish to clarify that there is a difference between an opinion expressed by an individual and a common position taken by the collective. Cheeseman would be wise to know what constitutes a Pastoral Letter by the Catholic Bishops for him to draw the sort of conclusions he has made in his article. For the record, there was no Pastoral letter by Catholic Bishops as Cheeseman attempts to show in his article. What was there was an opinion expressed by His Lordship the Archbishop and covered in the media,” Mumbi said.

Mumbi also said it was irresponsible for Prof Cheesman to liken President Lungu’s bid to stand in 2021 to Fredrick Chiluba’s third term ambitions.

“It is irresponsible for Cheeseman to compare ours with late President Frederick Chiluba’s third-term bid. The view that the current constitution allows President Lungu to seek re-election to office in 2021 subject to being re-adopted as the Party’s candidate when the Party holds its General Conference is not about amending the law to accommodate our view. Ours is informed by the current law and of course, we are mindful that this matter is before the Courts of law. As always, the Patriotic Front will respect the outcome of the Court system,” she stated.

“After President Michael Sata died, we went to the Convention and elected a leader. The same cannot be said about HH and UPND. The Party has never been to a convention since 2006 and HH rules by decree. While he is in prison, ADD President Charles Milupi is the one chairing UPND National Management Committee meetings simply because the National Chairperson is from another region. We are also informed that their Vice President for Administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has been absent trying to seek asylum within the Region. UPND is in a limbo because it’s undemocratic and one-man regional party.”

Mumbi also boasted that President Lungu’s good governance record remained solid and he was focused on improving the lives of Zambians as evidenced by the delivery of a new Constitution.

“Professor Cheeseman’s day dream maintained that Zambia is falling from grace because of HH’s arrest is a lie and written to mislead the world. We speak with confidence that Patriotic Front has already made giant steps towards the course of democracy and Zambia remains a shining example of democracy not only on the African continent but world over,” stated Mumbi.