Finishing anybody should not be our business in PF, but finishing the developmental project that we started, says Central Committee member and chairperson for media, Frank Bwalya.
And Bwalya says if the Constitutional Court judges come up with a judgment that says President Lungu is not supposed to stand in 2021, people should not accuse them of merely copying the decision of the Kenyan Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Bwalya regretted the conduct of some PF cadres
He said this in the morning today when he featured on Radio Phoenix’s Let the people talk programme.
“As I was coming here somebody sent me a text message saying ‘ba bwalya, uko muleya (there where you are going) ku Radio Phoenix mumupwishe Kambwili na HH (finish Kambwili and Hakainde Hichilema). I had to call back this person, and I said ‘you sent me this message about finishing HH and finishing Kambwili on the programme today’ and he said in a deep voice ‘yes’. Then I said to him I can assure you that when I go to Let the people talk, am going to assure Zambians that President Edgar Lungu will finish the development projects that the Patriotic Front started. Finishing somebody is not our business. Finishing the projects that we have started, that is our business,” Bwalya said.
“And then this person said ‘no you are trying to be philosophical’ I said no, but thats the point. We have no business going to a radio programme to finish somebody. what Zambians are expecting from us is to assure them that more projects are coming and that those that are underway will be finished and that soon they will be able to see the finishing of these projects that can improve their lives. That is why they gave us the mandate.”
He said President Lungu was a known candidate for the PF in 2021.
“We do realise, and we will never be naive about the need to have a strong institutional framework, a strong political party, the same party on which ticket we will continue to field candidates at Presidential level. And it’s already known for 2021 its President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, our natural, first choice striker who has been scoring very well, members of parliament, councillors, council chairpersons, mayors and so on,” he said.
Bwalya defended President Lungu’s remarks against the Constitutional judges.
“The question should not be whether the President overstepped his boundary but where the boundary is, that is the question. That boundary is where the President ended. If he had gone beyond where he ended, he would have gone beyond the boundary. So many people who are accusing the president of having said something wrong, its because they don’t know where his boundary is, and that is what the debate is all about. The Vice president, state house, chief government spokesperson, a lot of scholars and so on have explained that the President was within his constitution mandate, he was within his job description when he made that comment,” Bwalya said.
“I think the judges will not and should not emulate anybody, they should follow what the President said to follow the law and the law is the constitution. Should the judges in reading the law and applying it accordingly come up with a judgment that President Lungu is not supposed to stand in 2021, anyone who would accuse them of having replicated what happened in Kenya and so on, may not necessarily be confirming the fears that the President raised. Because the fears the President raised were not to a specific matter before the court of law. The fact that the President talked about his eligibility and so on, may be mere coincidence because he also talked about other things.”
He said the Constitutional Court judges had the duty of following the law and not the wishes of the President.
“Zambians will not forget that we have had one or two incidences when the President explained the law in the manner he felt, and the court decided otherwise. And we have not had anything in this country happening in the manner of firing a judge or indeed going out after a judgment instigating [fear in] the judges and so on, that has not happened… This is why Zambians agree that our supreme law needs to be cleaned up because that matter am referring to without mentioning, had to do with something that has been added to our amended constitution, about Ministers staying in power and so on. It is agreeable that this law needs a clean-up,” Bwalya argued.
Meanwhile, Bwalya said it was not necessary for the PF to wait until HH publicly declared that he recognised President Lungu before the Head of State could sit to dialogue with him.
“I don’t want to say that president Hakainde, the leader of UPND doesn’t recognise President Lungu as the legitimately elected Republican President. I want to give him the benefit of doubt this time around and I think continuing to demand that he should openly say that he does recognise, maybe for now its neither here nor there. Signs and gestures are very clear that he does recognise President Lungu. So talking about dialogue, it is the reason why I wouldn’t come to a programme like this one to finish Hakainde Hichilema because if we finish him what happens to the dialogue?” he wondered.
And Bwalya regretted the bad conduct of PF cadres.
“You can never justify pouring of Chibuku on our brother Mr Chishimba Kambwili at the memorial, that cannot be justified and we distance ourselves as a party from such sentiments. On the justification that it was provocative and so on.
Violence cannot be justified, not even provocation can be used to justify violence. Self defence can be justified,” Bwalya said.
“However, I must say that we do sympathise as leaders in the patriotic front, we do sympathise with some of our cadres, our members including some members of the wider community who feel frustrated that despite the patriotic front, despite President Edgar Chagwa Lungu doing so much in communities, some people refuse to acknowledge and to appreciate these efforts of development. Some of these our members including the wider members of the community sometimes are tempted to want to block such people who they accuse of not appreciating development not to attend functions or activities where there is showcasing or indeed commissioning such projects. We want to believe that thats what happened on that day but it cannot be justified.”
He supported Vice-President Wina’s call for disciplinary action to be taken against the cadres.
“The Vice-President spoke in no uncertain terms and assured the public that action is going to be taken against those who allegedly tried to harass the UPND member of parliament (Malozo Chikote). It cannot be justified that this member of parliament belongs to a political party”.