FDD president Edith Nawakwi says the fact that the ruling Patriotic Front can agitate that the opposition wants to buy off its members of parliament to vote for the impeachment motion proves that there is deep division in the party.
And Nawakwi says it is a waste of time trying to impeach the PF because they are impeaching themselves.
Meanwhile, Nawakwi says it is laughable that the UPND wants to impeach a president they don’t recognize.
In an interview, Nawakwi said it was very strange for a ruling party to agitate about the possibility that its MPs could be bought off because it showed that there was deep division in the PF and people were not happy with government.
“You mean as a party they are not united, you can buy them? Naine niza pezako ndrama niguleko benango ba PF (I will also look for money and buy off some PF members). I mean, the point I am making is that if you are a ruling party. How could you even open your mouth and complain that an opposition, a small party who you think is in consequential can buy your leaders? What type of a party is it that has members who can be bought by opposition?” Nawakwi asked.
“It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t give me seriousness. It simply means they are not united. It means that PF is divided right inside. And they are scared that some members can be bought. Why would they be bought if they are happy with their own government? It is either you are hungry, like some people we know or you need to look after you family or something like that. But if you are content no amount of silver can buy you. It means there is a problem. Why on earth would anyone be blowing a trumpet for a non-existent king. I see a lot of contradictions from both UPND and PF. I look at both parties they are the strongest parties when they are the weakest at this point in time. They are detached from reality. The ruling party thinks it just exists by a way of being on ZNBC. They are detached from reality. A party which is firmly in control knows that opinion of the last person on the ground.”
And Nawakwi said it was a waste of time trying to impeach a party that was impeaching itself.
“You don’t need to campaign against PF, they are doing it themselves. You don’t even need to appear to be impeaching them because they are impeaching themselves. That’s why are are so desperate. If I am in government and I am really in control, how can I be looking for members from small parties? In this country it’s not the politicians who cause change. The people get fed up. And that’s what these politicians who have power need to know that every time there is change in this country, it is not because of the popularity of Edith Nawakwi, Frederick Chiluba or Rupiah Banda or Michael Sata, no! The people get fed up of hunger, suffering, disease, deprivation, selfishness, nepotism and corruption,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nawakwi said it was laughable that the UPND was trying to impeach an invisible president.
“Personally I think UPND are misguided. They never send us the correct signals. They are the ones who said there is no president so they now want to impeach an invisible president. So I don’t understand them. They confuse me. What I want from our members of parliament is to ask what type of electoral system are we going to go into in 2021? Are we still going to go into a system where form G21 disappears into clouds? I expect them to discuss the fact that ZESCO is now a monster amidst us. If you look at the bill, there is 19 per cent tax and it has increased electricity prices. And these MPs are mute on these issues…When you have a presidential system the powers of the president are too much and these are the issues that the Member of Parliament must be addressing. At what point do we reduce presidential powers? You can’t continue to shoot in the dark to say ‘let’s go and impeach him’, count your numbers, you won’t even succeed. Move motion in the House to remove and clip the powers of the president so that he doesn’t infringe on the indepencence of the Judiciary, on the independence of Parliament that’s what we need. But what are they doing there? They walk out, every now and then. Even if I have an opinion on the fact that the president should not stand in public and say make those statements (threats on judges), I equally have an opinion of members of parliament who walk out every day from doing the duty that they are elected to do. Every now and then you hear that UPND has walked out so now how are they going to impeach the president?” Nawakwi asked.
“So I see these things as exercise in futility because they are misguided in what they want to do and what they want to achieve, they are not serious. We were 12 members of parliament of FDD, we made more impact in the House than the entire life of UPND in that House. These are people when HH was in jail at Chimbokaila, that day when president Hakainde was appearing for the first time at the Magistrates’ court, they were sitting in the House. HH was before the magistrate court for the first time. They were conducting normal parliamentary business. Is that normal? For me it just indicated that they just wanted allowances. So, when they say impeachment, can say succeed? The point is they are impeaching an invisible president anyway.”
Asked if she believed President Lungu had committed any impeachable offense during his time in office, Nawakwi said her focus was on cleaning up the electoral system before the 2021 elections.
“I think at the moment, we need to find a middle ground of how we clean up to get into proper elections. That’s my goal now, that as a nation, at what point can we say ‘after elections there will be peace and quiet?’ If we continue to fool around the way we are fooling around, 2021 will be gusty. It will be too gusty to contemplate. With all these problems of jailing each other, dividing ourselves, I am telling you, 2021 will not be a year when you can think we have a nation. There will be deep divisions. There is no nation where you live in a fighting mode all the time. The problem that I see with this presidency is that there is no dialogue. That’s the only problem that I see. We say we are a Christian nation, christians meet and talk to each other. If you are a Christian nation there is no pagan amongst all these politicians. Why can’t we sit down and just talk? What I noticed from PF is they only want to be the ones in the goal point. That is also a problem,” said Nawakwi.
“So when people say they want to remove them, it is because they cannot talk to the president. If the president wants to stand, let him stand, go and campaign against him, get all politicians to bunch up against him, he won’t win. And who wants to campaign against PF? PF is campaigning itself out. Prices have gone up, electricity is expensive, who needs to open their mouth and be seen to be a bad egg? Just watch them. They are accelerating their exit. Talk to the farmers, what do they think about PF? Talk to the teachers talk to the police man on the streets.”