PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu, please tame excited Bowman Lusambo, who is behaving like a hooligan, a bully and abusing citizens, before it is too late, says Gregory Chifire.

And Chifire says President Lungu should be in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 like other Heads of State in other countries.

Lusambo, the Lusaka Province Minister, has been marauding through Lusaka to check if people were complying with the Presidential directive to wear masks.

But he suffered widespread criticism for ordering the police to whip people found abrogating the Presidential COVID-19 prevention measures.

Lusambo also declared that he would personally participate in whipping bar patrons.

But in an interview, Chifire, who is Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) executive director, urged President Lungu to tame Lusambo before it was too late, saying the Provincial Minister was too excited and was overstepping his boundaries.

“Please, President Edgar Lungu, tame Bowman Lusambo before it’s too late! He is too excited, he is abusing citizens, he is overstepping his boundaries. We have in the recent past, seen Lusambo involved in beating up people he suspects were drinking beer in bars and night clubs against the provision of the law. This time around, the demon in him has taken him to harassing people, who are not wearing masks. He says he is doing that using the law within himself despite Zambia being a country of laws with a functioning Constitution,” Chifire said.

“President Lungu must show leadership and tame this guy because he is behaving like a hooligan, a bully and lumpen! He is lowering the integrity of the President’s office, who appointed him. In fact, he is dragging the name of the President in the mud because he is claiming that he is using Presidential directives, he is boasting that he is getting instructions directly from the President himself. If Bowman’s thuggery behaviour mirrors the President’s wishes, then we are in deeper trouble as a country than we thought.”

And Chifire urged Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF member of parliament, to take it easy and further reminded him that Zambia remained a country of laws.

“Bowman must be reminded that Zambia is a country of laws. Zambia is not his house! He should take that behaviour to his house in Chamba Valley. Power has gotten into his head. He is drunk with power! But I wish to advise him that he must take it easy. Power is sweet; it is like a smell of sweet perfume. Just smell it, don’t drink because it’s poisonous,” he cautioned.

Meanwhile, Chifire urged President Lungu to be in the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.

“The President’s absence and silence during this trying moment is very worrying! We expect the President to be in the forefront like presidents in other countries, showing leadership as opposed to allowing excited Ministers like Lusambo to harass citizens. We need the Head of State in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, unless State House is not telling us the truth about the state of being of the President,” he said.

Chifire said State House should inform citizens so that men of God could start praying for President Lungu if the Head of State was unwell.

“Zambians have not forgotten how in the past, the State treated the health rumours surrounding presidents Mwanawasa and Sata. If the President is not well, let State House tell us so that the men of God start praying for him. And if the President is well, let him come out and lead the fight against COVID-19. Zambians don’t want statements from Isaac Chipampe (President Lungu’s Press Aide) or any other because they did not elect Chipampe, but President Lungu. Zambians don’t want pre-recorded messages of the Presidential address. Zambians want to see their President fit; want to see their President in action! There is nothing political about someone’s health, including for the President. The President is as human as of all us. He can fall ill like any of us,” said Chifire.