PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has expressed disappointment with sentiments attributed to Chirundu UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima that “the devil, not God, made President Edgar Lungu Head of State”.

Reacting to Syakalima’s statement in an interview, Phiri said God elevated President Lungu to his current position because he had been humble leader who never exalted himself.

Phiri said God lifted President Lungu to the position of Head of State because he was humble, unlike people like Syakalima who were self-exalted.

“This is 2019, me as deputy Secretary General of the PF party, I would encourage you as News Diggers! to be enlightening us as government in the areas we are failing. Don’t be shy to speak against us if we are committing any ills against the people of Zambia. So for hoonourable Syakalima, he’s an elected member of parliament, to judge President Edgar Lungu (scoffs), he’s not God. God knows President Edgar Lungu inside out. And let me remind them again, Lesa asumbula abashaisansamika (God lifts up those who humble themselves). The Bible is very clear [Lesa] asumubula abashaisansamika. Abaisansamika (those who lift themselves up) like ba Syakalima, he brings them down,” she said.

“You remember what was being said about me? Even when I said ‘God’s time is the best time’, people used to think I was joking. But me I am a believer in God, and here I am. I am with honourable Syakalima, he’s a back bencher, I have gone in also as a nominated member of parliament because I always believe in waiting upon the Lord. Let us also remember that when our God calls us. I will not go and face my God as a PF MP, I will not go as honourable Mumbi Phiri. When God created me he knew my name, which is Mumbi and when I face him, I will face him as Mumbi.”

And Phiri, who is a nominated PF member of parliament, backed President Lungu’s call to have Christians in politics, saying having Christians in political positions would bring dignity into the country’s political circles.

“That is very unfortunate for honourable Syakalima to have said, and if we continue with this type of politics, then I don’t know where we are going to end. It’s true that we should have Christians in politics, so that we have dignity in our political circles. When you are a Christian, you believe in what you believe in. And I am on record myself of having said this, that’s why I can publicly say today that I am where I am because of God… Can I remind the nation that we were in the opposition for 10 years as PF. What type of politics did we play? We played the politics of development, not the individual attacks which are being perpetuated by our colleagues. When we were in the opposition as PF, we managed to save the life of Patricia Maluti, who was a student at the University of Zambia. When the child was not being taken to South Africa, by then the Minister of Health was Dr Brian Chituwo. And when that child was being taken to South Africa at the Airport, my President, Michael Chilufya Sata was there at the Airport to see of the child,” Phiri said.

“In 2009, there was K48 billion which was allocated to Munali constituency for the construction of the roads in Gardenia, Mutendere, PHI… I was being reminded everyday by Mr Sata to talk about it. Those were the checks and balances we were doing. Remember that it was in my tenure that the UNZA bridge was constructed and I could go to that bridge and records are there. Whenever the Minister then Honourable Simbao heard that I was at the site, he could come. We would do the adjustments accordingly. I was never suspended from my party for working with the government of the day. But what are seeing now? We see our colleagues on TV, through you as the media whom they think are friendly to them… instead of following the ministers to their offices, they are scared that their leadership will suspend them. So how do they expect to take development to their areas?”

Meanwhile, Phiri has advised youths in the country not allow politicians to use them as tools of violence this year.

“I would like thank God for taking me into 2019 and I continue reminding the youths that let none of us use you as tools for violence. If I come the youths and tell you to say ‘here is a Panga, he is a gun, here is beer’ this 2019, challenge us. We are leaving our children at home and we want to destroy other people’s children. But time has come where you should challenge us so that we move this country forward. For me 2019 is a year where I will be celebrating my 50 years jubilee. So I am looking forward to you as the youth to challenge us and put us in the right place,” said Phiri.