PATRIOTIC Front Eastern Province Youth Chairperson Emmanuel J Banda commonly known as Jay Jay says people are trying to tarnish his image because he is President Edgar Lungu’s defender.

And Banda says he was not hiding but he was in Eastern Province performing some traditional rituals after the death of his grandfather.

Meanwhile, Banda says he can’t steal money from a police officer when he loads his cars with 100 liters worth of diesel for community work in the province.

In July, Banda mobilised PF cadres and stormed Lusaka Central Police where they beat up some unsuspecting officers on duty and got away with an undisclosed amount of money belonging to one of the officers.

Sources say the incident happened after the C5 anti-robbery squad shot and killed a suspect earlier, who happens to be a relative to Banda. The suspected robber died after sustaining four bullet wounds.

This infuriated the PF official who demanded to meet the officers involved in the shooting incident. However, the officers did not comply, prompting Banda to mobilise cadres and besiege the provincial police headquarters, with at least one visible firearm.

Banda had been on the run until Wednesday morning when he handed himself over to the police. He was arrested and charged for aggravated assault before being granted bond.

And speaking when he appeared on a MUVI TV special programme, Wednesday evening, Banda said there were some people who were fighting him because he was President Lungu’s defender.

“These issues…it is just people who can’t understand to say now we are fatigued. Let other people also play a certain number. They don’t want to understand. Politics is like football when you are at peak, you play well and if there is someone who is at peak, it is better you are on the bench but on the same team. Let that boy who is doing fine, let him be on that number so that when you score, you celebrate together. But I can tell that there are some people who [don’t] understand that. And I am sure they have seen that I am the number five if we come into politics. I am the number five defender for our President Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. And I can assure you that kwasu tikuti ukashanga bwino mbeu, chaka cho kolola, ukolola bwino. So a Edgar Chagwa Lungu a President achipani cha Patriotic Front ashanga bwino and chaka cha mawa tifunika ku kolola. Koma chili kuli seo ma defender tifunika kubalabilila. (Where I come from we say ‘when you sow a good seed, you will harvest good crops. So President Lungu has sowed good works and this coming year, it will show. So it is up to us the defenders to speak on his behalf the works he has done),” Banda said.

“Monga kwasu kweti chokela ku Petauke, onani chipatala Kalindawalo General Hospital ni chipatala chikulu chopulumusha banthu opezeka na matenda ya cancer. Kuli Edgar Chagwa Technical School. Ni skulu ikulu ngako. Kwenzeve skulu monga iyi. So zonse zija ni mbeu ze shanga a Lungu. So ne nimuuzhyeni a Edgar Chagwa Lungu chaka chikuza tikakolole chifukwa chitukuko chili pali ponse. Olo muno mu Lusaka muntu kuti alute kunchito akanyamuka kapena ni six afika ku ma ten to 11 achelwa muntu kunchito chifukwa cha misebo, congestion. Koma lomba muntu akanyamuka kuma six, six hours yamene afunika afike panchito. Koma lomba kuli ayakine bepasiwa nchito yamene iyi yakuti ofunika ankhale ma defender ya president noba pasa ndrama, na nchito bofola bwino bwino koma kuti ankale defender ofuna lini. So amene abo bayakine ndiye bomukamba ati afuna lomba ku faiting’a (Look at the hospitals he has constructed in Petauke, Kalindawalo General Hospital is a big hospital that can treat patients with different diseases such as cancer. There is a school called Edgar Chagwa Technical School, it is a big school. I can tell you that President Lungu will win the elections because of the works he has done. Look at the roads in Lusaka, way back, a person would report late for work because of the bad roads and congestion but now that is not the case. So there are some people who have been given the mandate to be defenders for the President, they are given money but they don’t want to do their job. So these are people who are bringing this infighting).”

He said people that tried to mud sling him would not manage.

“Like last month I was accused of swindling people and masquerading as Bowman Lusambo. So when the person was caught, they probed him and he said he was working with me and that we shared K1,500 they questioned him further, they found out he was lying. So bala ndiye ma politician basaziba ku sebenza bafuno pisha ayao, kuti beve basebenze. Koma neo mweningalabilile, ndise okosa, otang’a, ansenga ngao ngao that’s why nu kwanisha kukamba kuti ndine number five. Bani kwanishe lini bayese kuniika matika yali yonse koma chili kuli beve bakapokola bopitamo. That’s why Zambia ili namalamulo. So abo bantu batichose lini, batichose mphavu kuti tileke kusapota a president basu. So imwe ba media mulute mokopa vamene ve tichita kuti bantu abeviona. Nukamba lini kuti imwe ba media muyambe kutichitila campaign ah ah (So there are politicians who don’t know how to work, they want to chase others so that they can be the only ones left to work. What I can say is that I am very resilient that’s is why I am a defender. They will not handle me even if they try to mudsling me. This country has laws. People will not manage to take away the fact that I am President Lungu’s defender. Even you the media, help us to show the citizens the good works the President has done. But I am not saying that you should campaign for us, no),” he said.

And Banda said he was never in hiding.

“I have never been in hiding. I have been very much around because I am sure everyone knows I am public figure and even you the media you always follow me. Why didn’t you follow me to the funeral of my grandfather where I was? Let me tell you briefly, when I got home on Saturday, I was told by my wife to say ‘they are looking for you, they came here looking for you.’ I said ‘you didn’t tell them where I was?’ Then my wife said ‘we told them we left you at the funeral after burying the grandfather’. So I’m surprised no one came, I thought that it was just one of those things in politics where by they want to drag my private life into politics. You can go and the headman from our village in Sinda, everyone knows I was there even the same day on the 10th, I am surprised it’s a shock. Even coming here to Lusaka, I wasn’t supposed to be here. Tifunika ku masuliwa tonse azukulu pachibelu pa 21 according to our culture my hands are still tied up because ambuya tikaliye kuba suzula kuti tika nkale free (we are supposed to perform some traditional rituals with my grand mother so that we can be free,” Banda said.

He denied allegations that he beat up a police officer.

“It’s not true. But I can’t talk much on that because when I reached home from the farm and I was told the police are looking for you, today I went there to find out why they were looking for me so they have told me why they are looking for me. And I have been charged with assault so I can’t say anything since it’s in the hand of the police and the laws,” he said.

When asked if some people were trying to tarnish his political carrier, Banda responded in the affirmative.

He said he can’t steal because he had vehicles that were filled with 100 liters of fuel on a daily basis.

“Yes I am sure. I don’t even know what aggravated means. You know me. If I tell you where I come from, Petauke Central, the whole province I am in charge and Petauke district in particular, I have vehicles doing community work. Every day I am [parting away] with 100 liters diesel every day from 2016 until [this] date. I am surprised you tell me I can be stealing. That one I am sure even if you ask a baby from Petauke, they will tell you that you are lying. What is aggravated? Me as far as I know, I am from the police they never mentioned anything about aggravated robbery so those are just malicious things on me,” Banda said.

He insisted that he didn’t know the police were looking for him.

“I don’t know the police were looking for me. I got permission from the party that I had gone to the funeral of my grandfather. Even the provincial team they were there at the funeral on the 10th. I just heard when I reached home they were looking for you. I started checking on the media so those who were doing that who were malicious on me. We will see each other. On the 10th I wasn’t in Lusaka, I was in Sinda in Chabala village. That’s where we buried our grandfather. In the same week, we had two funerals, the other one I lost my nephew here in Lusaka and we buried on the 6th. And on the 10th there was no commotion when we were burying my grandfather. All the party officials they were there. I am surprised the media didn’t come to cover me,” said Banda.