PF DEPUTY secretary general Mumbi Phiri says Zambian lawyers are confusing the nation because they are always arguing and contradicting each other over interpretation of President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to re-contest next year’s general election.
And Phiri says she hopes UPND will accept defeat after the 2021 general election as they did in last Thursday’s by-elections.
Speaking when she featured on Radio Phoenix’s “Let the People Talk”, Tuesday, Phiri wondered why lawyers had several interpretations over President Lungu’s eligibility issue, creating unnecessary confusion, saying if lawyers were doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic, “a lot of people would have died.”
She was commenting on Patriotic Front legal affairs chairperson Brian Mundubile’s remarks where he said the ruling party concurred with the Law Association of Zambia’s (LAZ) position that the Constitutional Court did not deal with President Lungu’s eligibility for the 2021 general election.
“I am sorry to say, you have really degraded yourselves when we are so much relying on you, but the confusion! Can you imagine nga waya kuli uyu (when you go to this) doctor, they will tell you that you have malaria, bakupela (they give you) chloroquine. Uyu umbi ati (this other one says) ‘no, it’s typhoid.’ How many people are going to die, so many interpretations, how? Why should it be like that? You have gone to an extent of insulting your fellow lawyers who are judges. They are also lawyers then they become judges. You insult them, you degrade them, is that the way it should be?” Phiri wondered.
“He (Mundubile) can say whatever, and you know, lawyers in Zambia, they are really confusing us and I have always given an example to say, if lawyers were doctors in this pandemic of COVID-19, I think a lot of people could have died because the lawyers we have in Zambia, ni vina mwamene wainvelela (dance however you feel feel like). Look at the confusion they are causing, they are the ones who are supposed to be educating us on how a law should be. I can go back to the time when we had the NDC when I was a member of parliament, when we didn’t go, you remember we had the rebel MPs? If you saw the signatures, which the lawyers, the so-called lawyers, they are called learned, you know, it leaves much to be desired the way they are arguing. The way the judges are arguing in the ConCourt, the way the Magistrate courts, who are in the Supreme courts, they went to the same schools with these lawyers who are arguing. So, there is total confusion! Anything you hear on the presidential eligibility, others will say, ‘no, it was passed,’ others will say, ‘no’.”
She lamented that the confusion within the legal fraternity was uninspiring.
“Where you are coming from, Luchi (Radio Phoenix host), you have your children, who, when they are listening to you on radio, they feel good, they have passion; they also want to be journalists when they grow…Now, when you have this profession, which is total confusion, are you inspiring anybody? There is confusion, baka yamba kuyambana (when they start fighting), and because you are learned, you even want to hide in English. To the outside, you are looking confused!” Phiri added.
But when asked what the PF’s position on President Lungu’s eligibility was, Phiri admitted that the ruling party had not yet sat to discuss the controversial issue following LAZ’s statement.
She, however, added that the PF would state its final position once the Central Committee had convened over the matter.
And Phiri hailed the UPND’s acceptance of their electoral defeat in last Thursday’s polls in Lukashya and Mwansabombwe constituencies and hoped they will do the same after next August.
“I think the positive is that for the first time, the UPND has conceded defeat and I hope in 2021, they will do the same,” she said.
Meanwhile, Phiri charged that the reason why the UPND were losing elections was because they were insulting voters by telling them that they were cheap enough to sell their rights in exchange for mealie meal.
“You know, people might not realise that is what makes our colleagues lose because if somebody came and told me, I know my rights, I know I should go and vote and then somebody thinks I am so cheap I can sell my vote for a bag of mealie meal, telling me that I am so poor, I am vulnerable, I can sell my vote for a K20? That is what is making them lose. These accusations have been there, even calling the councillors, I have always said, I have never engaged these defecting councillors and given them money. I have never witnessed that, but because when you lose, you want to make people look like they are so desperate, they are cheap, they are useless! Because if you can sell your vote, it means you are useless, that’s what they (UPND) are telling them in their faces; demeaning people as if it’s me who feeds them. Let them continue at that and see because people feel insulted,” she charged.
She further condemned the violence that rocked Kasama ahead of the polls last week and urged the police to deal with criminals hiding in the name of the ruling party.
“And police, ba Kanganja, ba Kapeso put your foot down! The President has made it clear, all of us have made it clear, people shouldn’t shield in the name of the party. Deal with them, nobody will protect a criminal, nobody,” said Phiri.
“I commend the police in Kasama for arresting the PF youths, who went [to break the UPND vehicle] does a car talk? Even if you are provoked, can you reach to such an extent? And for me, I tell our colleagues in the PF to say, ‘when we behave, if these other opposition political parties they misbehave, they will be dealt with because we are behaving and people will see that good behaviour is starting from us.’ And why should you spill your brother’s blood, for what? Wasting blood because it was only the blood of Jesus Christ, which was spilt for our salvation.”