National Democratic Congress president Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu’s handlers must tame his mouth before he sets the country on fire with inflammatory statements.

And UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says President Lungu is relying on Bill 10 to push for his fourth term.

Speaking in Solwezi when he addressed party supporters at the official opening of the new PF provincial office, President Lungu said he was confident of victory in 2021 because his strongholds have remained intact.

The Head of State who has already been elected into office twice, said he was certain of his continued re-election because Zambians do not want to change a winning team.

“I have got no time to sleep, 2021 is around the corner. In a few days time we will be in 2020, so we have to up our game. We expect you people in North Western Province to give us the votes we need to form government in 2021. I know it’s possible because I believe in the leadership of the provincial PF committee. On my part, I will wait on you people in North Western Province to come and prove that you are with us in 2021, if you don’t we will wait for 2026 anyway because I will still be around,” President Lungu told a cheering crowd.

But Kambwili said such careless statements from a Head of State had the potential of dividing the country.

“Those who are handling the President must, please at all costs, ensure that what the President says is something that is building the nation not dividing it or bringing unnecessary chaos in the country. There is no way a President can say that I am going to run even in 2026 when already there is controversy about 2021, you want to bring another controversy for 2026? . No, no Mr President, My elder brother lets avoid those unnecessary careless statements. Again that is the meaning! If he is saying that I will be here , I will be here in PF [in 2026], [it means that] there is nobody who can be President [in PF] it just has to be Lungu wamuyaya (Lungu forever) it will never happened like that. This statement can set the country on fire,” President Lungu said.

“The President must always be a statesman. Statements that he makes should not bring unnecessary debate in the country. Look, Magufuli last week was asked, in fact the Tanzanian people are the ones who are calling on him to stay on because of his works, the people have said ‘we don’t want you to live! We want you to go for a third term because you have performed very well as a President’, but himself made it clear that ‘I will not abrogate the provisions of the Constitution. Immediately my term ends I am retiring and others will pick it up from there’ that is how you expect a President to behave.”

He wondered which law would back President Lungu’s fourth term bid.

“Unless President Edgar Lungu is going to change the Constitution. Because if the Constitution remains the way it is, it will speak for the people of Zambia. It’s not about President Lungu saying he is going for a third or fourth term; it is the Constitution that interprets what is supposed to be done in a particular country. Zambia has a constitution so I will not even waste my time to talk about President Edgar Lungu talking about the Forth term or third term because the constitution will speak for itself,” Kambwili said.

“So, I really don’t know where he is getting that kind of confidence. Again when you talk about 2026 it is the people of Zambia to say it is not for me to say. If he thinks he has enough support as a result of his Presidency in the last seven years; the people of Zambia will be there to decide. Sometimes they can be wasting time fighting, but God’s time is the best. So, I can only advise my big brother President Edgar Lungu not to say things that are against the provisions of the Constitution. I think it is a bit of a worry if the President can say that he will run for the fourth term when he knows that the constitution does not allow it. Now if all the people of Zambia are going to be saying things against the Constitution it creates a lot of confusion in the country.”

And Mucheleka during a radio program on UNZA Radio said the President was slowly graduating into a full time dictator.

“The President in Solwezi said ‘I am going to be here even in 2026, Zambians don’t want to change a winning team’, what does he mean? he can only do that if he amends the Constitution. He is going to remove the term limits, he might even want to put at seven years. He has already hinted on these things. Open your eyes, open your ears this man (President Lungu) is very dangerous he is actually graduating into a full time dictator! He has to be stopped! The only way he can be stopped is ensuring that Bill 10 does not go through, because if it does even some of these PF MPs who are supporting blindly will be shown the way out that is when they will regret. So, we must be able to do what we did in 2001 by stopping the third term for late president Chiluba (Fredrick). This one, picking lessons from there he wants to dribble his way by allowing the Constitution to be manipulated! So that he is saying he is following the Constitution,” said Mucheleka.