NAREP president Elias Chipimo says he feels sorry for the PF because the Constitutional Court’s upcoming ruling on President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to contest elections in 2021 has put them in a difficult situation.

And Chipimo says the people have had enough of President Lungu and the PF.

Meanwhile, Chipimo has wondered whether the PF leadership is comprised of thieves of leaders, saying he does not understand how they find it easy to steal money when they cannot steal ideas from the opposition.

Speaking on Prime Television’s Oxygen of Democracy programme, Monday, Chipimo said PF members had been caught between a rock and hard place over President Lungu’s eligibility to stand as President in 2021.

“This week, we may know the fate of our embattled President Edgar Lungu. I actually feel sorry for the PF to be very honest because they have been caught between a rock and a hard place. I know they feel that they’ve sorted out this issue of the next election. I believe they think that they have all the money in the world and maybe they are thinking of ways and means in which they can come up with a system that can ensure that their man gets over the line. But you know, there have been two other attempts at doing something like this and they didn’t end very well. If you look at the attempt that was made by president Chiluba, president Chiluba could have had the constitution of the MMD changed in order to allow him to run for a third term, but he would never have gotten past a constitution in people’s hearts. And that’s how the Oasis Forum was able to mobilise and unite the country against this idea that somebody could stay beyond the time that the Constitution had originally stipulated,” Chipimo said.

And Chipimo said the people have had enough of President Lungu and the PF.

“I know that even in this case, look… even if we haven’t had enough of Edgar Lungu… really, we have, we have had enough of the PF!” he exclaimed.

“We’ve had enough of his disappearing acts, even up to now. I know I am brining up yet another topic. But you know, Michael Sata used to say ‘ubulwele bwa Mfumu litensha chalo (a king’s illness shocks the entire chiefdom).’ You can’t just have somebody [disappearing]… if somebody is not well, I don’t know what the state of his health is, but if he’s not well, then let us know. We would like to be praying for him… but this question of eligibility, and I think that people have reached a point where they don’t feel loved by this President. They don’t feel loved by this party. Speak to anyone, even those in PF themselves, they are quiet, they are embarrassed because they are fully aware that things are not right. There are splits and divisions. We have KBF making statements and those statements are not contracted by others within his party. This is unprecedented.”

Meanwhile, Chipimo wondered why it was hard for PF to steal developmental ideas from the opposition when they could easily steal from the country’s resources.

“400,000 young Zambians are entering the job market every year; that means you have to create 1,000 jobs every year, and there is no way this government is going to be in any position to do that. But before anybody accuses of just condemning this government, we’ve put forward proposals [as NAREP]; we had a plan and I have spoken about it on many fora’s. We call it the ‘20 per cent generation plan.’ We’ve tried to say, really, look, use this and we have done that in a selfless way. The same way that Anderson Mazoka would put forward ideas, which Levy Mwanawasa would steal, but these people (PF) seem capable not of stealing ideas, but just to steal money! I think, make up your minds, are you thieves or are you leaders? You can’t really effectively do both and build the nation,” Chipimo said.

He also challenged the Judiciary to tell the nation about the challenges they were facing that was stopping them from fulfilling their duties effectively.

“There should have been a process by which we are able to go to the courts of law say: ‘look, this is a violation of the Constitution and we, therefore, need information so that we can verify whether or not the Constitution is being breached. But it’s the same thing with the impeachment; things get to court, but nothing is being done about it. Why should it take the court years to determine an issue on an election petition? These things all undermine the confidence that people should have in the Judiciary. But I don’t know what the problem is, but we need the voice of the Judiciary to come out and tell us, what exactly is the problem? Why is it that the appeals that were made to the Constitutional Court, which had strong evidence that indicated that things were not right, have still not been heard? I don’t know, but really, it does lead to a situation where you have to question whether or not the confidence in the Judiciary can be restored,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Chipimo commended UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema for his commitment towards working with the opposition.

“Hakainde is somebody I have known for many years, we were together at the University of Zambia, he was a year ahead of me and even as our careers were progressing, we were constantly interacting. So, he’s someone I have a lot of respect for, that is why the time I was invited, I was very glad to attend the 20th anniversary celebrations of UPND. What I know about my friend, HH, is that he’s a unifier, he’s somebody who will take the time to bring different parties together and I know that from a personal experience when we were working on a project together, I was reluctant to continue to participate for various reasons, but he took the time to come to my office, sit down and plead with me that it is important that we remain as a team working on this. So, I am not in any doubt about working around an idea that would bring the opposition together,” said Chipimo.