All People’s Congress leader Nason Msoni says President Edgar Lungu should stop mocking Zambians by comparing his eSwatini gift to receiving a chicken.

And Alliance for Community Action Laura Miti says Zambians do not care if their leader is humble, all they need is a competent president.

On Sunday, President Lungu mocked his political arch rival Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND, saying the Church should pray for him so that he may become humble and stand a chance of one day getting into State House.

Speaking when he attended a church service at the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Chikondano sub congregation in Chilanga, President Lungu wondered why everything he did was considered as corruption, and went further to declare the Bible that he had been given in order to allay corruption speculations.

“The church should not abandon its people because they have chosen to be politicians. Even as politicians we still remain part of the family. But at the same time, you should also pray for us so that we should have the love of Christ. What I am saying is that those politicians who have failed fortunes, when they come to church please receive them, they have been trying some of them five times, six times, seven times. Pray for them and tell them, ‘you know why you are failing?’ Tell them to humble themselves…if you are just stubborn and you think you will get there, you will never be there,” said President Lungu.

“This is why they say I abuse the church because when I go to church, I start politics, please forgive me. I have heard the teachings, acts of philanthropy are not encouraged because they are distorted to be corruption and corruption is one problem we have because if they give you a chicken they say it is corruption. So you have given me a Bible, I have declared it. I have declared receiving a Bible from Chikondano church today. There is a level of desperation on the part of our detractors such that anything you do, they say it is corruption.”

But in a video statement, Monday, Msoni said it was a mockery to Zambians for President Lungu to trivialize his eSwatini gift.

“We think that it is unfortunate for President Lungu to seemingly mock citizens of this country by saying that even if he received a chicken, his detractors would still make bonds about it. I think this is totally untrue and he knows it too well that what we are questioning are high value properties. He might as well enjoy a chicken given to him as a gift but what we are saying are high threshold properties received in his capacity as President of the Republic of Zambia. He has not openly addressed the question o the eSwatini land but he chooses to punch holes and mock citizens over receiving a Bible and saying that even if I received a chicken my detractors would still make noise. I think it is lack of appreciation. His office is not an ordinary office. It is an office for all Zambians and our expectations are that if he received high value property, it means that that property must be declared and it belongs to Zambians,” said Msoni.

“He does not expect the opposition to keep quiet when he is receiving big properties because what we are questioning is on what basis are they giving him these properties? So we think that he has an obligation to explain to the Zambian people, he has an obligation to ensure that he declares that he has received this on behalf of the Zambian people. We think that President Lungu must stop mocking Zambians, we think that you cannot use a church platform to mock Zambians or to trivialize authentic issues which genuine opposition political parties are raising.”

And in a separate statement, Miti observed that Zambians were not interested in having an incompetent humble president.

“EL was on ZNBC news from Chilanga going on about how some people are not humble, that is why they keep losing elections. If they learn to be humble, maybe God will let them win. Listening to him my thoughts were – that is why the country is the mess it is, under him. He actually believes this story of us needing a humble president? For what pray? No, what we we need is a competent President. He can even be arrogantly competent, if he wants, as long as he runs the country efficiently. A president must understand systems, policies, budgets. He must be strategic. He must be a leader. Humility, especially if by that we mean kontola mukoshi, lolesha panshi, is as useful in a President as being handsome is in a striker. Nice to be Mo Salah with looks and skill but, heck, if fans must pick either, it will be Messi any day. So EL could we trade the humility for competence,” stated Miti.