JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda says those plotting to challenge President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility should have just kept it a secret because now that their strategy is known, PF officials will put up a spirited fight when the time comes.
And Lubinda says President Lungu will win the 2021 election by over 75 per cent if PF officials exploit the “spirit of Bill 10” in their campaign messages.
Meanwhile, PF secretary General Davies Mwila says the ruling party will win the 2021 elections without Bill 10.
Speaking during a mobilisation committee meeting in Lusaka, Saturday, Lubinda said talks about President Lungu eligibility were nonsensical.
“The issue of eligibility is nothing but a comeback on Bill 10. What do I mean about a comeback? After celebrating, the very next day people started complaining and now they want to divert so that you stop looking at the spirit in Bill 10, you start talking about nonsense about eligibility. My friend and young brother, he is sitting there Mulenga Sata, when we were contesting elections in Kabwata, Mulenga didn’t tell me ‘I am going to petition you’, he didn’t, because nobody tells you in advance. If a person tells you in advance, it is because they want to frighten you. They know that matter is done, it is tested and rested. Had they been serious, they could have kept quiet, had they known there is something they can do, ba SG nga baikele tondolo (they would have been silent), to wait but they even tell you that ‘we will petition you’ and they think tizankala ndwi (we will sit idle)? President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his team, we are all ready,” Lubinda said.
“Don’t listen to that, some are even calling me ‘Minister of Justice we have started shivering’, you someone has told you that I will come at night to steal from you, can you complain? You tell him ‘well done you are a very good thief. You come you will find I have put an electric fence’ even us we have been told, that is the trick they want to use. So please don’t entertain that discussion. Us let us go out and tell the people that the spirit of the referendum is still living, the spirit of Bill 10 is still living, that is the message we should give to our people. Because when we also enter the eligibility talk, there are those who are afraid, they will be more frightened, what do you think will happen? That even when we go and support, they will petition, we are going to lose members. As mobilisation committee, this is the message that must go to the people.”
And Lubinda said although Bill 10 died in Parliament, the spirit of the bill still lived in the clauses which many people wanted enacted.
“Those who are saying they have won Bill 10 and after going there and dancing after drinking Four Cousins, they said Bill 10 has died, but I want to tell you one thing, when a person dies, there is always a ghost, there is always a spirit. To us it is not the paper called Bill 10, to us, it is the spirit of Bill 10. That spirit still lives in Edgar Chagwa Lungu, that spirit still lives in us. Why does the spirit live? You have heard people saying we should have got this, if the bill had passed we could have more women in Parliament, that is the spirit. Yes we failed to get the two thirds majority, why did we fail? It is because some [people] went to dance for Four Cousins and Hungry Lion. One of my friends told me that Hungry Lion that they ate and that Four Cousins, it wasn’t their boss who bought for them. He just gave them space to dance at his home but they bought their own food. Every member of the PF should carry the spirit of Bill 10, please don’t go out and say that they lost in Parliament, it is the people of Zambia who lost, who made the people of Zambia lose? It is Four Cousins and Hungry Lion,” Lubinda said.
Lubinda said if party members were to use the message of the failed Bill 10 and the failed Referendum, President Lungu would win the election by 75 per cent.
“In our Constitution, there is Article 52 sub article (6), very dangerous, extremely toxic in that Constitution. It states that if people have filed in their nominations, Presidential candidates, if in the middle of campaigns one who filed in their nomination dies, the whole election is canceled. If one resigns the whole election is canceled. Now tell me in a country where we have people that are treacherous, are you sure if they see that article and they see that they are losing, can’t they resign? If they see that Edgar Lungu is on top because in 2021, Edgar Lungu is not winning with 51 per cent, in 2021 because of the spirit of Bill 10 and because of the failed referendum and if you use that message, all of us we use that message, Edgar Lungu will get out of that election with more than 75 per cent,” said Lubinda.
“We didn’t go to Parliament for numbers, we went for the spirit that we from the PF, that those of us in government are not selfish people. We want to empower the Zambian people. Can you imagine that government, President Lungu himself saying we want to make a referendum, we enhance the rights of people so that if in Kanyama there is no water, they can sue me as President. That is what President Edgar Lungu wanted. Are you sure the others can do that?”
Meanwhile Mwila said the party would win the 2021 elections without Bill 10.
“We won 2016 without Bill 10, we are in government without Bill 10, we are going to win 2021 without Bill 10, it ends there. Ba Lubinda has spoken of the clauses that are in there, the country has lost, all of us are affected,” Mwila said.
He said anyone who insulted a presidential appointee was not a genuine member of the party.
“We are meeting here as a family, we are members of PF and we expect to respect each other. Anyone who is going to create confusion in the party, there will be no room in the party. Anyone who is going to create violence among themselves is not a member of the party. Anyone who is going to insult the Presidential appointee is not a member of the party. You cannot say that ‘yes we are for Edgar Lungu you Minister of Justice you are useless’, that is not the way we operate. You have to respect the appointees for the President. If you are my friend, that friendship will end, you are insulting Ministers who are innocent, we will not allow that and we will kick you out. The situation where people are insulting leaders, we are not going to allow that. We cannot allow members of the party to go on the street, they block roads, they start harassing innocent people, we will not allow that. We are going for elections and we want discipline. Us what we want is order, if we see suspensions going through then you are not disciplined,” Mwila said.
Mwila called on party members to register as voters.
“Voter registration is starting after tomorrow (Monday), we expect members of Parliament, councilors, mobilisation committees, and the structures to work together to ensure that we go on the ground and tell our people to go and register for the 2021 elections. The ward officials, the constituency officials, the district officials and the province you have to get involved and the councilors and the MPs. We want numbers, the political party that will register more numbers will win the elections next year,” said Mwila.