Chief government spokesperson Kampamba Muelnga says President Edgar Lungu cannot be compelled to show his true Christianity by visiting Hakainde Hichilema in prison because the UPND leader does not take part in the National Day of Prayer.
And Mulenga who is also Information and Broadcasting minister says when Hichilema recognises Edgar Lungu’s presidency as legitimate, the ruling party will put differences aside and dialogue with the opposition.
In an interview, Mulenga told News Diggers! that it was folly for people to demand that President Lungu visits Hichilema in prison as a way of showing his Christianity, because the opposition party did not recognise the National Day of Prayer.
“Zambia is a Christian Nation and I think our President has exhibited that. We have a day, 18th October, a day for national prayer and fasting. This government has been calling on the opposition to come a pray with us. We have sent out countless invitations to come and pray with us, so that there can be peace in this country. They have turned down those invitations,” Mulenga observed.
“Now today, because their leader is in cells we must begin to say ‘this is a Christian Nation can we go and visit and talk about issues like this?’ No no no no! People have the right to visit whoever they want to visit in prison, but to recognize Christianity because you want it to appeal to a particular case is uncalled for.”
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And Mulenga said UPND vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba should stop wasting time running from the police because if they want him, they will easily get him using help from the Intelligence.
“If Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has done nothing wrong, there is no need for him to be running about. And you cannot tell me that if the security wings were looking for him they cannot find him, they can find him. We have Intelligence officers but let’s not create unnecessary tension where people are running unnecessarily. Let us not create stories that are not there. If the UPND vice president is wanted by the police, they will look for him. Why is he living in fear? Who is after his life? People know where to find Mr Mwamba,” the Minister said.
She said there was no tension in the country, adding that if there was, soldiers would be patrolling the streets.
“When we talk about tension what do we understand by tension? Surely is there any tension in our country? No there is not. You our colleagues in the private media, when you were coming from Woodlands to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, did you see any police brutality on the way? No you did not. Did you see any soldiers on the streets? No you did not. Did you experience any intimidation as you were coming here? No you did not, so what kind of tension are we talking about? We are causing imaginary tension which, believe you me, the people of Zambia are not going to condone,” she said.
Mulenga said President Lungu was not turning the country into a dictatorship.
“For me I believe in the constitution, I believe in the will of the people, the way they want to be governed and never at one time will this government govern this country on reforms of dictatorship. I remember very well that there was a query and appeals from the international community to speak to President Lungu on the release of the opposition leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and my statement as chief government spokesperson was ‘the president has no mandate under this Constitution to pardon somebody that is before the courts of law’ and speaking on matters that are before the courts of law is contempt of court,” she said.
Mulenga further said the PF would never sit down for any peace dialogue with the UPND until Hichilema conceded election defeat and recognised President Lungu.
“The dialogue our veteran politicians are talking about; how do you begin to dialogue with the government that you do not recognize? We must begin to know that 11th August is over, the elections are over and we have a government in place and this government is headed by His Excellency the Republican President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu until 2021 when the people of Zambia shall decide; and I can give you a positive answer, they shall decide on the patriotic front government again. So what kind of dialogue do you want when you do not recognize the incumbent?” asked Mulenga.