People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti has lamented that his friend, Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji has forgotten him just because he is now in power.
And Mulongoti says there’s no honor in celebrating a drunkard.
Malanji hosted a public rally in Kitwe, Sunday, where several government and PF officials mocked the opposition saying they were time wasters.
But in an interview, Mulongoti lamented that Malanji had neglected him just because he was now a minister.
“Malanji is saying that people are happy, the President is fulfilling his promises and people are happy and whatever. Who says that people are happy with the PF? I have seen your paper today (Monday) and I have read what those ministers said but Malanji did say something about happiness of the people…What I want to maintain is that Malanji shouldn’t forget his friends. I insist, we were so close with that man, so close. we went to play golf together in Egypt we were so close so the fact that he’s in that office no does not mean he must burn bridges, it doesn’t help you, it doesn’t help at all,” Mulongoti said.
And reacting to remarks by Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe that the Head of State had transformed the country despite being called a drunkard, Mulongoti said there was no honor in celebrating a drunkard.
“I do not think it is honourable for government ministers to show happiness that their President is a drunkard. They must have a sense of shame, to appreciate a drunkard is not a mark of honour. This is a Christian nation and the PF are the same people talking about the Alcohol Policy, but then they come out in public and tell the people of Zambia that it doesn’t matter to be a drunkard, really? We all know that it’s not possible for a drunkard to perform. So they must not take glory in the performance of people who have kept Zambia moving and ascribe that to a drunkard, it’s not right. They should be ashamed of that,” Mulongoti said.
Mulongoti expressed disappointment over remarks by PF officials that he is mad for challenging President Lungu’s identity.
“Those of us who are saying that the man (President Lungu) is a foreigner, it’s not because we hate him but it’s because we think that there is something amiss and to ask the man to identify himself is not malicious but a mark of sincerity on our part. So if Mr Malanji and his friends think that those of us who are questioning the identity of Mr Lungu are mad or something, I would like to appeal to him… he’s my friend, so he should not provoke friends into anger. I would have expected him to enjoy his position as a minister because he knows very well that when we were ministers, we did not abuse our friends, we performed our jobs professionally and with dignity. So we hope that our friends who are in government today can carry that dignity with them so that tomorrow we will not regret to have our friends in government. But for him to pour scores on us, he’s not being fair to himself and his friends. Let him perform his duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs and not abuse those of us who served government before with integrity,” said Mulongoti.
“In fact, what we are saying is that don’t burn bridges, I think that’s the advice we are giving him, don’t burn bridges because you may need those bridges on your return trip. And from what we are seeing, the return trip is not far from now. So if I were Malanji and his friends, I would make sure that I protect the relationship I hold with other people because tomorrow I may need them. You may need while you are in office that you don’t need to our friends but we’ve seen people in the past who ignored friendships but in the end they went running back to the old friendships. After all, that’s where security is. The political office is temporally and because it’s temporally office, please don’t forget your friends because you may need them especially when they begin to question your identity. You want friends to help you, it can’t be strangers helping you. Because in the process you may end up renting brothers, sisters and uncles and chiefs. This is all a result of you forgetting your family members and friends, you end up now stranded and start paying people to say you are one of them. So my appeal to all those holding public offices is that remain good people then you will be supported.”