PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the idea from some church leaders that only sitting him down with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema can end violence in Zambia is nonsense.
And President Lungu says he knows there’s a plot by the opposition to humiliate him by sponsoring people to jeer him in certain areas.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has asked police to arrest all law breakers, regardless of which political party they represent.
Speaking upon arrival in Lukulu District of Western Province where he had gone to inspect some development projects, Monday, President Lungu said the church should advise “the other guy” to publicly denounce violence.
“Those of you who are concerned about the peace of this country, pray for this country. Pray for your leaders to see the imperative need for peace wherever they are. Pray for those in power and those in the opposition. If you want to advise those who are in political power, see them [and] talk to them quietly and tell them that ‘mwana, what you are doing is very bad, so stop it.’ I am saying in short, if it is me and the PF who are wrong, please sit us down and tell us that what we are doing is wrong. If it’s UPND who are wrong, tell them. Sit them down and tell them that ‘stop it, you are destroying this country,” President Lungu said.
“This desire that you should put us together so that there is peace is nonsense because we know where violence is coming from, talk to the wrongdoers. And those of us who are Christians and some of them who claim to be Christians, we belong to you the church. So, call us individually and tell us that ‘stop it.’ The reason I am saying this is [because] there is a strategy which some of you may not know, the strategy to elevate violence.”
He asked the church to talk to Hichilema and advise him to openly condemn violence.
“I am saying this because I have reliable information that some church leaders are saying that this violence can only end if we put Lungu and HH together, I am not ready to be told to stop violence because I am saying ‘stop the violence’. So, tell the other guy to stop violence right away. Demand that HH talks against violence openly [and] tells his people and the opposition leaders to stop it now,” he said.
And President Lungu said he had information that there was a plot to insult and humiliate him even in Mongu.
“I am saying so because I had evidence before I came here that in Mongu, there was a plot to insult Lungu and humiliate me and even here, there is still a plot to insult me and humiliate me. The idea is that we should become confrontational and fight back then they turn the tables and say ‘Lungu you are being violent, I refuse,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu asked police to arrest all law-breakers.
“Police should arrest all wrongdoers regardless of political affiliation. Police should arrest all lawbreakers in this country regardless of where they belong. Enough is enough. Mahatma Gandhi said ‘an eye for an eye will leave your villages blind’. So please, PF, don’t revenge, don’t fight back. Let us show our peace to the Zambian people. I came in peace to talk about development,” he said.
President Lungu said leaders cannot force people to support them by beating, cheating or manipulating the system.
“I, as President of the Republic of Zambia and president of the Patriotic Front what I am saying again here is that please, there is no room for violence. If you are angry, find a way of resolving your anger. It takes one foolish person to destroy the country. Please hear me. Time will come for you to decide who you choose as leaders starting from councillors to MPs to President in 2021 on August 12. So, just go and get your Green National Registration Card and when the Electoral Commission of Zambia begins to register voters, go and get your voter’s cards so that in 2021, you vote. For now, you have your councillors, you have your area member of parliaments, you have your traditional leaders, you have your president, work with them,” President Lungu said.
“Leadership of whatever kind comes from God through the people. People decide who you will be if you will be a president, if you will be a minister, MP or councillor. Even chiefs, it is God who decides through the people. What we need to know is that we cannot govern without the will of the people, in whatever position we are governing. We only govern because people have allowed us to govern. So, let’s impress the people so that they have confidence in us and vote for us into office. You can beat people, you can cheat them, you can manipulate the process but if the people don’t want you, they won’t give you the support. So, win the hearts of the people first.”
He also appealed to Lukulu residents not to allow politics to divide them.
“I am very happy that ever since I came to Barotseland here in Western Province, the important thing is unity among the people who live here regardless of their tribes. Let us not allow politics to divide us. Those of us who have the privilege to be in government should remember that we are Zambians first. Let us learn to respect each other. Let us not incite people to fight and injure themselves in our name. And for those of you who are our followers, please take a leaf from us. I am saying this because I have been told that there are political leaders who are insisting that you the youths as our followers should continue fighting so that there is chaos in this country,” said President Lungu.
“For you who belong to PF, please emulate your leadership, emulate me as an example. There is no need to fight one another. If you are offended, seek justice through the law. If a certain leader tells you contrary then he doesn’t feel for you. The opposition leaders and the ruling party leaders have got their own blood children whom they don’t send to go and fight on their behalf. Ask yourselves why they can’t send their brothers and children to go and fight for them? It’s a shame that some politicians still believe in violence.”