NAMWALA UPND member of parliament Moono Lubezhi says President Edgar Lungu’s continued flouting of health regulations is giving members of parliament a tough time to convince their electorate about the dangers of COVID-19.

And Lubezhi says after seeing President Lungu surrounded by large crowds in Makeni when he went to commission the flyover bridge, her constituents have started doubting the existence of the pandemic.

In an interview, Lubezhi appealed to President Lungu to help parliamentarians curb the pandemic by avoiding moving with unnecessary crowds.

“Look at the crowd which he has taken to Makeni today (Monday), which are not masked. There is no social distance! As if that is not enough, what is wrong with Lungu just going with a few officials from the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development if he really wanted that facility to be flagged off? And in my own understanding, that is not an infrastructure worthy to be commissioned by a Head of State. I am not really shocked because this is the same Lungu who went to Namwala with a huge crowd, wasting taxpayers’ money to go open a mother’s shelter, which was built using CDF (Constituency Development Fund). I didn’t see it prudent for the Head of State to travel all the way to Namwala just to commission a CDF project worth K238,000,” Lubezhi said.

She feared that the crowds that surrounded President Lungu in Makeni would infect their communities after dispersing to their various areas of residency.

“What has shocked me today (Monday) is because that hired crowd, which they have taken there is as good as they have killed them because those people will be infecting and re-infecting each other! And as if that is not enough, they will go back and retreat to their compound where they are going to infect people who have remained home innocently. These are the times I wish was a behavioural scientist because at least I would have comforted myself if I understood their behaviour. This pandemic is real and we have seen people dying! We can’t afford to have a Head of State to be this careless! His level of carelessness is giving us MPs a tough time to convince our electorate to stop moving about,” she complained.

And Lubezhi revealed that her constituents had even started doubting the existence of COVID-19 after seeing President Lungu with a crowd in Makeni.

“For example, in Namwala, I had managed to stop the livestock farmers from travelling to Lusaka to sell their animals. When COVID-19 started, I had pleaded with the people of Namwala to try to trade locally until this disease was normalised. We had managed to control them. But now when they saw the Head of State all over, they started calling me saying, ‘ba MP, mulatubeja kunyina Coronavirus nkaambo kunyina mbokunga ba President kabayakweenda!’ (MP, you have been lying to us about this Coronavirus. There is no Coronavirus because if it was there, there is no way the President would be moving about like that). The President has made this fight for us very difficult,” Lubezhi lamented.

She appealed to President Lungu to help all parliamentarians curb the pandemic by leading by example.

“It’s high time the PF, through their party president Edgar Lungu, who happens to be the Head of State, realised that this COVID-19 is real and let Edgar himself help us the people of Zambia to curb this pandemic. At the rate he is moving, that man will wipe off Zambia,” cautioned Lubezhi.