President Edgar Lungu must stop asking us to replace our leader because Hakainde Hichilema is our husband and wife, nga chipuba, chipuba chesu (if Hichilema is a fool, he is our beloved fool), says UPND deputy secretary general Patricia Mwashingwele.

And UPND secretary general Steven Katuka said in a statement that President Lungu’s demand for UPND to replace Hichilema was outrageous and hypocritical.

On Monday, President Lungu said it hurt him so much that the UPND was not going to a convention to replace HH and uphold the Constitution on democracy.

““I want to be very clear, my political advisors have advised me that wilalandapo (don’t talk about the UPND) 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. Nomba abanensu bena tukomfwa ati iyo kanofye uyu wine uyu, five times iyo komafye uyu wine uyu. I know that nga naya ku State House balaya mukunkalipila (My advisors will go and reprimand me for saying this) ati you wasted too much time talking about your opponents, its not good. But lelo lekeni ndandepo pantu chilankalipa (let me talk about it because it hurts me… he (HH) has failed five times but they (UPND) are insisting that they want this same candidate. Zambia is not supposed to be condoning dictators,” said President Lungu.

“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.”

But in an interview, Mwashingwele, who is also Katuba UPND member of parliament, advised President Lungu to worry about the suffering citizens instead of constantly talking about HH at campaign rallies.

She wondered why the Head of State was so consumed by the idea of getting rid of HH as an opponent and boasted that the largest opposition party was not going to change its leader.

“He should talk about the real issues that affect Zambians. Zambians are hungry, Zambians are broke, so everything is just wrong. For him to be worrying about UPND and Hakainde Hichilema, Hakainde is our baby. Hakainde is our husband as UPND, he is our wife as UPND. We will know how to handle him. Nga chipuba chipuba chesu (if he is a fool, then he is our beloved fool). If I am married to a wrong man why should that bother you? HH chipuba chesu (HH is our beloved fool) so let him talk about other things. If we want, we can have HH for another 20 years because our constitution allows us to do so,” Mwashingwele said.

She warned that President Lungu would die of a heart attack if he preoccupied himself with thoughts of HH.

“It has got nothing to do with the PF so I don’t know where the whole Republican President can be saying ‘chilankalipa sana (that it hurts him so much)’. Why is he feeling the pain for us? It is us to feel the pain. If I am the one who is sick, I am going to the hospital ready for theatre, why should he feel the pain for us? He should be feeling pain for the Zambians. His pain should be for the suffering Zambians, not to be feeling for HH and UPND. Chilamukalipa (it shouldn’t hurt him). Now I even want to reiterate, chilamukalipa Lungu that UPND doesn’t want to change leaders. We are not going to change and if he is the one who is going to [contest in] 2021, tell him that HH is our candidate. So if he is at every rally saying that chilemukalipa sana (that it hurts him a lot), he will just die of a heart attack. We are going with HH with his veep GBM and he [Lungu] should be ready to face them,” said Mwashingwele.

“I think that’s the starting point. It is none of his business because that is a party issue. UPND will go to a convention at the right time, in our own space. So he should be worrying about issues that are affecting the poor Zambians. COMESA Market has been burnt, City Market was burnt and it hasn’t been rebuilt as they promised, agriculture has lamentably failed, there are no medicines in the hospitals, in the clinics, so he should be talking about real issues when he is on the campaign trail. Look at how many Zambians were taken off the streets, they are languishing in the compounds, they cannot even make ends meet, there is so much corruption in this country, talk about exorbitant prices that we have, one million [dollars] for fire tenders but we insure them for $250,000, ambulances were priced at an exorbitant price of $288,000 when we could buy them at $60,000, those are the things we want to talk about.”

And Katuka said it was hypocritical for a President who was a product of dictatorship to talk about democracy.

“We find Edgar Lungu’s statement in today’s Diggers Newspaper of ‘HH must go!’ outrageous and hypocritical knowing that this is the man who came through pangas and machetes at Mulungushi Rock of Authority before 2016 elections. From our side, Edgar Lungu came into Patriotic Front (PF) leadership undemocratically. But this does not bother us because we know that dictatorship is his DNA,” Katuka said.

“This is the man who has been abrogating the constitution with impunity even when the law is very clear on the stay of Ministers after dissolution of parliament. To date, ministers have not paid back the money even after the court that they should pay back. This is the same man who does not believe in an independent Zambia Police Service, not even an independent media. The Post Newspaper is no more today because of Edgar Lungu’s undemocratic style of leadership. Instead of discussing President Hakainde Hichilema, we expect Lungu to tell the people of Zambia what he is going to do to address the poverty that he has caused on the people of Zambia.
We expect him to tell the people why he has failed to complete the City market in six weeks as was earlier announced by his Vice-President’s permanent secretary.”

He called on Zambians to read the UPND Constitution so that they can understand the tenure of its leaders.

“We call upon the Zambian people to denounce leaders who have no vision. Lungu should know that the people of Zambia are more concerned about how they are going to remove him from power since he has shown serious hunger for power that he is ready to even defy the constitution and go for a third term. Zambians is very unfortunate to have a leader who has no vision or any clue of how to address the challenges affecting them. A leader who has brought violence and aggression on the country,” said Katuka.

“Incase leadership has gone to his head and blinded him, we wish to remind Lungu that many Zambians are sick and tired of his corrupt government and are now looking for the best way to remove him democratically. We call upon all sober minded Zambians to read the UPND constitution so that they are not misled by someone who fails to understand even the national constitution.”