Patriotic Front (PF) deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri says jealousy is driving civil rights activist Brebener Changala to spread lies and promote hate speech against the ruling party and the Head of State.
And Phiri says Changala, is being insincere by suggesting that there is no democracy in the ruling part and that party officially are not legitimately elected, arguing that PF has always elected its leaders at party conventions and congresses.
Last week, Changala alleged that President Lungu was losing sleep over UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, his his failure to avoid talking about the opposition leader at his rallies.
But speaking to News Diggers in an interview, Phiri argued that President Lungu was only echoing the need to allow for intra-party democracy in all political parties.
“When you look at the way politics are being practiced in this country right now, you will realise that they are based on hate speech, lies and malice and this is very unfortunate. Apart from that, there is a lot of jealousy in the politics being run now. So it’s very unfortunate that Mr Changala can claim that President Lungu is spending sleepless nights over Mr Hakainde Hichilema, for what? Why would the President have sleepless nights over Mr Hakainde Hichilema? The President was only talking about democracy and when we talk about intra-party democracy, we should encourage political parties to go for conventions and that’s all the President was trying to do,” Phiri said.
“So I think my brother Changala is short of memory, if he can refresh his memory, he will remember that I, whom you are speaking to, I was elected as a member of the central committee when we went to a convention. Even the President was elected at a convention. People can call this whatever they like but we went for a convention and that convention if you remember, that was when there was a split in the PF. In fact even the people who booked the hall at Mulungushi Rock of Authority was [Dr] Guy Scott’s faction and everybody was invited. Others grew cold feet at the last minute but everybody was invited. So whether people like it or not, President Edgar Lungu was elected at a congress, which is in our party constitution. And again this time in 2020, we have said we are going for a convention. So my brother Mr Changala is not being sincere when he says that. But since I have explained, you can just help me refresh his memory.”
Meanwhile, Phiri expressed worry that some supporters and sympathizers of the UPND where already addressing party leader Hakainde Hichilema as president of the Republic of Zambia when he was not.
“Just yesterday, there was a lady from UPND with an English surname who was referring to President Edgar Lungu as ‘Edgar Lungu’ and Mr Hakainde Hichilema as ‘President’. But as women, we should have respect. I don’t think you have ever heard me referring to Mr Hakainde Hichilema as ‘Hakainde Hichilema’ because I am aware he is a father and he’s a husband to somebody. But unfortunately I can’t address him as ‘honourable’ or as ‘President’ because he has never been a President before, he has never been an MP before so he is not entitled to the title of honourable. So for that lady to refer to the Republican President as Edgar Chagwa Lungu, an adult who is not even her friend, its very unfortunate. And us as Zambians we have a way of addressing men it’s in our culture,” she said.
Phiri further called on politicians to stop using the youth as tools of violence as the by-election for Lusaka Mayoral position draws closer.
“Me I have told the youths, if Mumbi Phiri buys a panga and gives it to you, please remind her that ‘you have seven children’, with five of them being boys who can fight with pangas, so why should I not put them in the forefront? Why should I be using other people’s children to fight? Even God will punish us. So it’s time for the youths to say ‘no’ to being used as tools of violence. We have lost lives before and we were just burying Cecilia Banda, our young lady who was killed in Chimanja ward after being rapped and I am wondering how those UPND thugs are feeling. Out of politics you decide to go and shade blood,” wondered Phiri.
“My President, the Founding Father of the Patriotic Front, Mr Michael Sata wouldn’t have loved to see the blood of any Zambian spilled. So I think us leaders who have remained behind should emulate him because one day, we have an appointed time with God and he will call us to answer. Whether we hide or what, the Bible tells us that everything shall be brought to light. So my prayer is that even as we sign this communique as political parties, peace will prevail during elections that are coming for Lusaka and Chilanga districts.”