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Ditching dialogue because of impeachment is blackmail – UPNDBy Mirriam Chabala on 26 Mar 2018
Patrick Mucheleka says UPND will not be embarrassed if the impeachment motion against President Edgar Lungu fails, saying the party would still be glad to have called to order a President who violated the country’s Constitution.
And Mucheleka has asked President Lungu’s press aide Amos Chanda to stop blackmailing the United Party for National Development and it’s members of parliament by linking the ongoing dialogue process to the impeachment motion moved against the Head of State.
Commenting on a statement made Chanda during a press briefing held at State House last week, where he alleged that the UPND was relying on Freemason powers to impeach President Lungu, Mucheleka who is party deputy secretary general, reminded the President’s spokesperson that he was a civil servant.
“What Amos Chanda doesn’t realise is that he is a civil servant and he must not begin to engage in politics, when politicians are raising issues, Amos needs to help bring the sober side of government to the Presidency, Amos can do that if he so wishes. But if he’s learning from Richard Sakala who was literally insolent and using insulting language on Zambians that raised issues regarding late President [Frederick] Chiluba’s, he must also learn that Richard Sakala got so much involved in issues of corruption such that he even forgot how to do his job. That is what landed him in prison at some point,” Mucheleka said.
“The constitution is very clear, it actually provides for a President who violets the Constitution to be called to order. And what UPND has done through a motion that has been moved by the members of parliament is actually adhering to the Constitution. So Amos must not insult our MPs for proposing that motion because it’s their right.We have every right as Zambians to call to order a President who has violated the Constitution and we are adhering to the Constitution provisions, that is why we have used the most civilised manner and being in adherence to the constitution, we are following the Constitution.”
And Mucheleka asked Chanda to stop trivializing the impeachment motion by accusing the UPND of relying on Freemason powers in their quest to impeach the Head of State.
“This matter is very serious. Amos says, according to him that this is an exercise in futility but that is not so. When you look at the grounds for the impeachment, the issues are very straight forward. Issues bordering on corruption and bad governance, a President involved in these things can be called to order. If Amos thinks he can trivialize that issue by talking about non issues like Freemason and satanism or whatever that means…if anything, whether that motion goes through or not, the point is that the Constitution has been violated and Zambians must be given an opportunity to know what President Lungu has done in violation of the Constitution. And it will go on record, this is not an issue you must be trivializing,” Mucheleka argued.
“If Amos needed to do anything, he needs to reflect and seriously think about why Zambians through Parliament have been able to move that motion, you don’t trivialize a motion such as this one by coming up with all those things because those are none issues. When we are talking about issues of bad governance and corruption, as cited in that motion, its no use trying to divert people’s attention to those things that only he himself understands alone and those he represents. For us we are concerned about the people of Zambia, we have a responsibility of protecting our people. Even the Presidency, including Amos they have a responsibility of being answerable to the people. Once you are called to order, you must be able to come and reflect.”
Meanwhile, Mucheleka wondered why Chanda was confident that the impeachment motion would not pass.
“How does he know the motion has no chance of succeeding? How does he know that the independent MPs will not side with us? Unless he knows the means they intend to use to persuade the independent MPs and those PF MPs who have indicated that they are actually in support of that motion. Some of them are not just willing to come out in the open, but they are ready and willing to support the motion. So Amos must wait, in an event that the motion does not succeed, as UPND, we will still not be embarrassed. The only thing that we will do is to walk with our heads high because we did the right thing by calling to order a President who has violated the constituted, we will not be ashamed. What we are doing is right and it is in the interest of the Zambian people, we have a responsibility to protect the resources of this country,” Mucheleka said.
Mucheleka further expressed disappointed in the PF’s plan to escape the ongoing dialogue by linking it to the impeachment motion.
“I am just disappointed to hear that Amos can begin to think that the issue of the motion is related to the issue of dialogue. These are two separate issues, it doesn’t mean that when we are going for a dialogue process then we should allow the President to continue violating the Constitution, no! It’s like saying we must allow Lungu to continue arresting people, to continue violating the rule of law. There is a lot of tension in the country right now, you see this everywhere. But President HH has said that he is willing in the interest of peace to sit down with Lungu to talk. Amos and President Lungu must not think that they are doing us a favour by sitting down to dialogue, it is also in their interest that dialogue indeed commences. And they must not think that they will be in those positions forever,” said Sakala.
“If they think that they can use this to blackmail UPND, they are mistaken. The dialogue we are talking about is not for HH, it’s not for President Lungu or indeed any other political party, it is for Zambians because the people are yearning for true democracy. Zambians are yearning for good governance. If President Lungu and Amos think that they can blackmail us or that they will be given an opportunity to walk away from dialogue, it is wrong and they are using a wrong method. Dialogue has to go on whether there is an impeachment motion or not.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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