EASTERN Province Minister Makebi Zulu says Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu is being misled on the issue of President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility because it was rightly interpreted by the courts of law.
On Sunday, Archbishop Mpundu said the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) risked not having a presidential candidate in next year’s election because President Lungu was not eligible to stand.
“Bill 10 is a shameful Bill. Why is it that every administration that comes to State House wants to change the constitution in order to perpetuate them in power? This is wrong! PF is tempering with the constitution in order to perpetuate themselves in power not just the President. They will be remaining there to continue marring administration in this country. It is a shameful Bill. They should have called it Bill third term. They want to give a third term to Lungu but he has already served two terms according to the constitution. And not only that, a law that is made to benefit one person or to benefit a group of people against others is right from the word go wrong! And that is what it is. What is hidden in that and people fear, this fear must be expressed. What they see is not only to perpetuate Lungu’s stay in State House but it is designed in such a way that one person among those who are aspiring to be candidates will be disqualified. And this is criminal. It must be withdrawn,” said Archbishop Mpundu.
But in an interview, Zulu insisted President Lungu’s eligibility case was concluded a long time ago by the Constitutional Court and was thus, a dead issue.
“The only reason why this issue is not dying is because people are allowed to remember dead issues. That is a dead issue. That issue was settled a long time ago by the Constitutional Court so he can’t say ‘we risk not having a candidate.’ As regards to Bill 10, I don’t think he can point at any clause that seeks to perpetuate the stay of PF in power. Bill 10 is a progressive bill that seeks to deal with the lacunas that are currently existing in our constitution. It doesn’t scare us, it doesn’t scare anyone just because someone chooses to be misled and draw a particular line. If it is blue, it is blue, if it green it is green. You can’t say ‘green is blue’, no. We know what it is, we have read it in the right context, and the court has interpreted it in the right context,” said Zulu.