Chief Government Spokesperson Mulenga Kampamba says Zambia cannot stoop so low as to ask for help from political charlatans like Julius Malema.
On Saturday, South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters leader Malema called President Edgar Lungu a coward and said he had declared an “illegal State of Emergency”.
“There is something terribly going wrong in Zambia. The opposition is suppressed in Zambia. The President of the opposition is arrested, President Lungu declared an illegal State of Emergency because he is threatened. We are saying to him, do not suppress opposition parties. Lungu you are a coward, allow the opposition to oppose you. If you are a true leader, you will defeat them properly,” said Malema.
But in a statement yesterday, Kampamba, who is also Information Minister, said government did not owe Malema any explanations as he was neither a citizen nor a Zambian opposition leader.
“Government wishes to express its displeasure and disappointment with remarks attributed to South African opposition EFF leader Julius Malema that the pronouncement of a Threatened State of Emergency by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is illegal. In today’s edition of The Mast Newspaper, Mr Malema is also quoted as having called President Lungu a coward claiming he does not tolerate any dissenting views. It must be made very clear to Mr Malema that Zambia is a sovereign state, with its own laws put in place and respected by her own citizens,” Kampamba stated.
“If Mr Malema is a true democrat and a serious leader as he claims, he should have sought audience with our mission in Pretoria to appreciate what a Threatened State of Emergency entails than exposing his ignorance on the matter by making misguided, illogical and irresponsible statements. In any case, who is Mr Malema representing when he makes such attacks to the extent of calling our Head of State a coward? Mr Malema’s statement is clearly an attempt in futility to strain the warm and cordial relations that have continued to exist between the Republic of South Africa and Zambia.”
“Zambia owes Mr Malema no explanation, whatsoever, on her internal matters because Mr Malema is neither a Zambian citizen nor a member of a local political organisation. Mr Malema should realise that Zambians are politically mature and are capable of dealing with their own issues if any, and cannot stoop so low as to ask for help from political charlatans and unruly individuals like Mr Malema. Zambia has politically matured and has held highly successful and credible elections for many years now in which all willing political parties have participated and the winners declared according to the country’s statutes.”
She wondered why Malema was accusing President Lungu of silencing the opposition when there were some opposition leaders criticizing him every day.
“Furthermore, opposition political parties have, and continue to criticize President Lungu and Government without any interference or intimidation from anyone. So what does Mr Malema mean when he says President Lungu must allow the opposition to oppose him? We advise Mr Malema to first start by putting his own ‘house’ in order before he can start commenting about what is happening in Zambia and other countries. It must be made clear to him that no Zambian is being harassed by Government or indeed His Excellency President Edgar Lungu for whatever reason. Mr Malema’s comments are not only baseless but irrational and must be out-rightly condemned by all progressive democrats,” stated Kampamba.