President Edgar Lungu says it hurts him that the United Party for National Development (UPND) has not called for a convention to replace Hakinade Hichilema despite losing elections five times because that does not show democratic tendencies.
And President Lungu says electing a member of the opposition as a Lusaka Mayor will contaminate the city and stir distabilization because the entire leadership in the province comes from PF.
Meanwhile, UPND’s only councilor in Lusaka has defected to the ruling Patriotic Front.
Speaking when he addressed a rally in Chawama constituency where he went to drum up support for Mayoral candidate Miles Sampa, President Lungu said Zambians should never allow dictators like those in UPND to govern them.
“Us we have respect for all Zambians because we know that you are our masters, you are the ones who have employed us and when things happen, we just have to sit down and discuss. Nomba abanensu bena tukomfwa ati iyo kanofye uyu wine uyu, five times iyo komafye uyu wine uyu. Bola nga chakweba ati uletutulwila pamo ukwabula ukwingisha, kumufumyapo basabula… na Lukaku balimufunya bulya bushiku. Ba Lukaku abengisha ama bola ku Belgium balibafumya abati ‘Lukaku out’ Nomba bena ba UPND [HH] taingishapo nangufye kamo but tabacinja ati alaingisha uno muku. Elo ninshi constitution yesu yatila ‘we should be democratic’ (But our colleagues in UPND have refused to replace their president even when he has failed to win five elections. Even in football when a player is not scoring, they change just like Belgium did to Lukaku, when the coach realised he was not scoring, they substituted him. But our colleagues in UPND have refused to substitute HH even though he has not won any election). We should insist that UPND should go for conference or a convention, so that they can go and assess themselves. If it’s only HH whom they trust then let them go and place him but at least we would have seen that they are democratic,” Lungu said
President Lungu said although his advisors had told him to stop talking about HH at public rallies, he just had to do so because it hurt him so much that the opposition political party was exhibiting dictatorial traits.
“Nangu balinkanya ati don’t talk about it pantu balemposelafye inshita, lekeni ndandepo (even though I have been told not to talk about UPND by my political advisors, I will still say something), I want to be very clear, my political advisors have advised me that wilalandapo (don’t talk about them) but I think I should talk about them because the constitution says ‘Zambia should be governed by a democratic party which should adhere to democratic values such as regular elections, consultation and so on. But them not even once, kwabafye umuntu umo (there is only one person). Us when Mr [Sata] died, there were ten of us who wanted to replace him and I was chosen. So even me when my time to leave office comes, another person will be chosen and that’s how a party grows,” he said.
“I know that nganaya ku State House balaya mukunkalipila (they will go and reprimand me) ati you wasted too much time talking about your opponents, its not good. But lelo lekeni ndandepo chilankalipa pantu (let me talk about it because it hurts me…) Zambia is not supposed to be condoning dictators. Zambia is supposed to be a democratic government and all political parties who aspire to form government should be democratic. Are you telling me that if those people (UPND) formed government, their leadership would be democratic? People who claim to have the monopoly of wisdom, the monopoly of visionary power, the monopoly of everything should not be allowed to lead this country.”
And President Lungu said electing an opposition Mayor in Lusaka would be poisonous for the city.
“We have got 32 councilors in Lusaka and here in Chawama constituency we got four councilors, the four councilors belong to PF. The area MP belongs to PF and the President belongs to PF, surely you want to contaminate the arrangement by bringing a foreigner to come and join our family? Ba PF kuno ebaikata ama wards yonse, ba PF ebaikata constituency, ba PF ebaleteka. Nomba mwaisaletekako umutulatulafye eo mwise mubikepo ati Mayor, bushe ifintu fikabomba? Kuti fyabomba shani naimwe? Ni poison iyo mulepanga (PF is the one that is in power, all the councilors, the MP and even the President belongs to PF. So how can you elect a Mayor from the opposition?). Even when you go to a clinic looking for medicine, the doctor will give you a prescription with directions for use. When the doctors guide you to say ‘this medicine should be used for bathing, this other one will have to be drunk’, can you drink what is meant for bathing and bath the medicine meant for drinking? Pantu ninshi wapanga poison. So twamilomba mwebena Chawama tekwesha ukulufyanya iyo (if you do that then you would poison yourself. So we are asking you people of Chawama not to make that mistake),” said President Lungu.
“Which party did the late Mayor belong to? It’s PF. So how can you replace him with someone from the opposition? When someone loses their member, you have to leave them to mourn but you, you want to start bringing people from other parties to become Mayor, that’s why people go mad. Something that doesn’t belong to you, you just want to take it up”.
Meanwhile, UPND’s only councillor in Lusaka yesterday defected to the PF at the same rally.
Kanyama Ward 10 UPND councillor Brighton Bilima cited the opposition party’s “failure to respect the grassroots” as one of his reasons for defecting.