Rainbow Party chairperson in Eastern Province Boston Phiri says there is no need for the opposition to try to force President Edgar Lungu out of office before the 2021 general election, saying only God can remove him from office.

In an interview reflecting on the widespread political violence in the just-ended Sesheke parliamentary by-election, Phiri said President Lungu would only be brought down from his office when God said so.

His remarks also follow repeated attempts to move a motion of impeachment in the National Assembly against the Head of State, on grounds of abuse of office, among others.

“There is no need for us to fight, we can fight and fight, but we can’t remove President Edgar Lungu as God’s time has not yet come. Lungu is the only person who will rule and lead this country until 2021. It can only be God that would drop Edgar Lungu; it is God that can elevate him. Even if we fight to remove him, that will not happen until God says: ‘Edgar Lungu, today, you are going down.’ Nobody will challenge Almighty God. God’s time is the best,” Phiri argued.

He also said in most cases it was the opposition that provoked government wherever there were elections, insisting that it was indiscipline for opposition political parties to conduct a meeting or campaign in an area where the Head of State was visiting.

Phiri further condemned UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema for conducting a political meeting in an area where President Lungu was equally campaigning in Sesheke last Saturday.

“Some of these things, we the opposition, we provoke the government because the recent violence in Sesheke was caused because of the pride of our colleague. Imagine that time Lungu was in Sesheke and could it be fair for a ‘lower’ man like him (Hakainde) to conduct a meeting? That was wrong and it should be condemned! When Eagle One is visiting an area, no political party should show their face there no matter what until he leaves the area! We shouldn’t interfere with H.E. (His Excellency) meetings or visits,” he insisted.

He regretted the enmity that existed between the PF and UPND, and appealed to the opposition political party to show President Lungu the respect he deserved despite their differences.

“UPND and PF have been at loggerheads since time immemorial. All the electoral violence are because of the old grudges that the two parties have. Why is it PF and UPND whenever we talk of violence? That is why people should look at a non-violent party leadership come 2021,” argued Phiri.