President Edgar Lungu has wondered how people can expect him to develop a country within five years when it took God six days to create the world.

And President Lungu says he doesn’t know how to steal, further asking his members of parliament to be more vigilant about correcting the perceptions which the opposition is building that he is running a government of criminals.

Meanwhile, President Lungu has asked party officials who are plotting to replace him and other members of parliament to respect the terms of office.

Speaking when he attended church at the United Church of Zambia, Mansa South Consistory, All Saints Congregation, Sunday, President Lungu said he needed more time to develop Zambia.

“Bulya bushiku ba Minister ba [Nixon] Chilangwa balilanda ati lesa asendele 6 days alepangafye ichalo. Apangako ichi, apangako ichi. 7th day alitusha. Nga ifwe? Kuti twa wamya Shani ichalo muli 1 year or muli 5 years? Chila senda inshita (the other day, Minister Chilangwa was saying that God took six days to create the world. He created this, he created that and on the seventh day, he rested. And what about us? How can we develop a country within a year or five years? It takes time),” President Lungu said.

“So you should understand. That is why na mailo nalelomba abanandi nati mwebo tule bomba nenu muleya bwangu ku bantu mwabalondolwela ati tufikile apa (that’s why yesterday, I asked my friends who I work with to be going to tell the people the progress that we are making).”

He also observed that power made people drunk.

“We need to humble ourselves because God has his own time. I am saying this because I have seen, I am a President for five years now, I have seen what power does. Power makes people drunk and obsessed. They begin thinking they are the ones who are blessed and that they are the ones who are intelligent…but we need to humble ourselves…I have remained sober and humble because I know God,” President Lungu said.

And speaking at Teja Lodge in Mansa where he met provincial, district and constituency Patriotic Front officials after church, the Head of State said he was aware that the opposition had began a smear campaign to brand all PF officials as criminals.

“Our friends are resolved to paint PF to look like criminals and theives and corrupt people. That’s what they have told them, even when they are speaking in parliament, they always say ‘this government of PF, corruption’, ‘this government of thieves’, you can see that it’s an agenda. The agenda is to make us look very ugly in the eyes of we’ll meaning people. So that we look like corruption people, criminals who are bent on plundering the resources. So we have a duty to explain where the money is coming from. If it is debt, we acquire it and then build a school or a hospital, we’ll pay. Right now I’ll tell you, I recieved a letter from some Middle East country asking for 600 million which was borrowed and was due for payment. It was borrowed in 1991, I was just in university but now they want they money. So me as a leader, I will be glad to look for that money and pay but I will ask finance that where did we take this money? So that they tell me where they took it if it is to roads or schools. We are owing so we will pay, that’s how the world works. So what we are borrowing, we are using it on roads, schools, hospitals, all that is needed. But at this point, we need to tell the people that the money from China has gone here, and even from America it is here, and from Europe, we have used it on this so that at the end of the day, those who come to pay it back understand where the money went,” he said.

President Lungu said he did not know how to steal.

“Because when they say ‘corruption’, I have already said that when there is a thief on the street, many times, it is the thieves who point at their fellow thieves and shout ‘thief!’. I know how they steal. They were in government, they stole, and now they are in the opposition and they think we are also stealing. But I say come and show me what I have stolen because I don’t know how to steal,” he said.

“There is no way you can keep saying people are stealing without providing evidence. The agenda they have is to mess us up. And if they say that and you keep quiet, you’re giving them an advantage so it is important that our members of parliament speak to what’s happening, tell the people where the money is going.”

Meanwhile, President Lungu asked party officials to stop undermining him by plotting against him and his MPs.

“My job is to protect the party. In protecting the party, I must protect the structures of the party. In protecting the structures of the party, I expect the party to work with me with the elected members of parliament. Not to undermine them during the tenure of Office. I am saying this because, like I said in church, people have began preparing themselves to take over, to take over from me, to take over from the MPs, to take over from the councilors, to takeover the chairmanship, the province, and all the other positions because apa nomba, ici pani naci lowa, naci wama abantu nabeishiba (the party has become sweet, people know this now). I will be failing in my duties if I don’t protect people during their term of office. Because then I am not protecting myself. We were elected as a team. When I was elected in 2016 as president, you gave me members of parliament. What has gone wrong? My term of office is not over. Why are you trying to undermine me by undermining the elected members of parliament?” asked President Lungu.

“Since we are going towards elections in the party, as we go towards 2021, I expect whoever will be in charge of the party and whoever will be elected as party leader at whatever level to respect the term of Office which you gave me by respecting their term of office and the term of Office of those members of parliament you chose me along with to serve this party otherwise, you are destroying our party, you are destroying the future of the people of Luapula. So to you, chairman of the province and indeed your colleagues in the district and constituencies, my humble plea is let us respect the mandate that we gave to each other.”