EASTERN Province Minister Makebi Zulu says there will only be tension in Zambia if President Edgar Lungu decides to run for a fourth successive time in 2026 because he would not be eligible to stand then.

Responding to Telesphore Mpundu’s concern that President Lungu’s third term bid was causing tension in the country, Zulu said the matter was already resolved by the courts of law and there was no need to “flog a dead horse”.

“That issue has been resolved. You can’t keep on flogging a dead horse! There is nothing like a third term when the matter was already settled by the Constitutional Court. Perhaps the reading should not be for one minute, the reading should be in-depth to understand the context of our Constitution and the interpretation that was given to it by the Constitutional Court. If they have to take issues, let them go to court! We can’t keep going through the same issue over and over again. There is absolutely no tension unless it exists in certain people’s head. I have great respect for Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, and if he considered the judgement of the court in its true sense, he will know that the issue he is talking about is a non-issue,” argued Zulu.

“I don’t know what he means when he says that, ‘there is tension in the country.’ So, the issue of third term unless he is talking about 2026. For 2021, there is no third term, hence unlikely will there be any form of tension. If he says, ‘the President wants to run for a third term and he is referring to 2026…Yes, in 2026, there will be tension because that is the time he may be running for a third term, but he obviously can’t because he is only entitled to two terms.”

Last week, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu observed that there was too much tension in Zambia because President Edgar Lungu wanted to manipulate the Constitution so that he could run for a third term.

“I think we could do a lot better we are not doing well at all. And this corona thing is an addition to what is going on. All kinds of tension here and there, people don’t know where they are going and most of them don’t even know that they have a right to speak because they are afraid of being apprehended. And the economy is lounging, thing could be far much better. The way things are now, it is not good because of one particular area, the constitution is going to be changed whether we like it or not and that is not right. Why haven’t we learnt from the past when UNIP joined the constitution to have a one part state? Then came the MMD they didn’t do better they came up with the constitution excluded some people from standing and so on. Then came another who wanted to change the constitution to have a third term, we don’t learn! And now this one (President Lungu) wants to have the Constitution changed so that he can have a third term. You can’t say, ‘you were finishing somebody else’s term,’ no, you can’t! You serve two terms. They don’t say, ‘how long’ just two terms, even one hour, one minute is a term,” said Archbishop Mpundu