President Edgar Lungu is undermining his credibility as chairperson for the SADC organ on politics, defence, and security by offering advice to other countries which he himself is failing to implement in Zambia, says
NAREP president Elias Chipimo.

In an interview, Chipimo said it was unreasonable for President Lungu to purport to be a “problem-solver” for challenges faced by other countries when he was failing to solve problems of his own country.

“It is unacceptable and it undermines his credibility as his so-called mediator or advisor to other countries or other Heads of State and other stakeholders to be offering advice that he himself is failing to implement. People tend to follow what you say rather than what you do and it’s a very costly exercise to have our Head of State purporting to be a mediator or a problem-solver when in his own backyard, he is incapable of resolving the problems that we are experiencing, many of which can be resolved through a dialogue and unity reconciliation process. Now, if he has failed even just to attend a dialogue process and if he keeps putting up road blocks for that dialogue process in his own country, does he have any legitimacy whatsoever to be going elsewhere proclaiming the prescription that he himself is failing to purchase and swallow?” Chipimo asked.

“His credibility is very low if he is expecting to influence other countries into a reconciliation process that he himself is not prepared to take. So, if I am a salesman and I drive a particular car, but I spend my time trying to market a car, which I don’t drive myself, will the customers take me seriously? I don’t think so. If I am a doctor and I fail to take my own advice and I die of a disease that I am claiming I have the cure for, will the people who are buying the advice and my medication take me seriously? I don’t think so. If I am a drunkard and I say: ‘I have a cure for alcoholism’ but I myself I remain an alcoholic, will people really buy my products? I don’t think so. So, we need seriousness when it comes to looking at our own national reconciliation challenges, then we can be an example to other countries.”

And Chipimo said Lungu’s position as chairman of the Troika organ should instead make him realise his responsibility back home and start doing the right things.

“Now that he has that responsibility as a chairman of a particular SADC organ, he must now start doing the very things, which he has responsibility for advising others to do. This should actually prompt him to realise that now this: ‘even me in my own situation I am not doing these things.’ That position should now make him realise his lack of commitment to the responsibility he has had all these years and start to exercise the right decisions and actions,” said Chipimo.