KABWE Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says the ruling party is equally waiting for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to file in his nomination papers because he got a hotel from Livingstone without declaring interest.

And Ngulube says the PF is not shaken by the fall of the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 because it is still the party in power.

In an interview, Ngulube insisted that President Edgar Lungu was eligible to stand in next year’s general election unless he decided to rule himself out.

“The President still has another mandate coming in 2021. There was nothing in Bill Number 10 that talked about the President’s eligibility, learn to educate these people. The issue of eligibility went to court. People like (John) Sangwa must stop misleading themselves. And the issue of saying ‘no, we are waiting for the President to file in his nomination papers then I challenge him…’ He is a coward! Let him go to court right now, we are waiting for him. The President is eligible unless if he says, ‘he doesn’t want to stand,’ unless he says it himself, but the law is very clear, he is eligible! He has only served one term, before 2016, is not a term,” Ngulube argued.

“Forming government is not like going to buy bread at a shop. How many seats have they (UPND) won in ward elections? How many parliamentary by-elections have they won this year? Zero! They lost in Lukashya, Mwansabombwe. Why haven’t they performed better if they were about to form government? So, it is a wake up (call) to them also that, we are also waiting for HH to file in his nomination. He actually gets a hotel in Livingstone without declaring interest secretly. So, it is a double-edged sword. We can also say, ‘you do this, we do that’ Zambia is for all of us. What they can do to us, can also be done to them. We have a lot of characters who just wake up to start threatening, the law is there for everyone to read, nothing is going to happen. The President remains eligible, we are not even shaken. Bill 10 was not started by PF; it was not started by government. Whether it goes through or not, it is a governance system, it is not a matter of life and death for the PF.”

And Ngulube, who is also government Deputy Chief Whip, said the PF was not shaken by Bill 10’s flop in Parliament because the ruling party was still in power.

He, however, claimed that UPND members of parliament were abducted by the Hichilema ahead of last Thursday’s vote, which explained why they failed to vote for Bill Number 10.

“I know what transpired. What transpired is that HH called for a meeting and then they blocked them (members of parliament) inside. No one from PF was absent; we had a 100 per cent turn-out. For us, nothing has been lost. The UPND have cheated themselves, they are even celebrating! They don’t know what they have done to the people of Zambia. They are the ones who started this process and they were crying day and night so for us, PF, this is not about winning or losing, it was expected that people will run away from it, people will change their mind. It was expected that the Bill might either go through or not. So, there was no surprise. We put up a good fight, the Bill was almost through. We don’t want to sound like we are complaining because it is not our role to complain, our role is to educate the people. We are not shaken, we have not lost anything, the President is still in power,” said Ngulube.