MMD president Nevers Mumba says Zambians should not expect President Edgar Lungu or the PF to rescind their decision on fielding the current Head of State despite all indicators showing that he has failed.
In an interview, Mumba said it was instead up to Zambians to register as voters in large numbers so that come next year, they can “save themselves”.
“I do not have any story across the continent or any President who said ‘no guys I have really taken the country in a wrong direction the economy has contracted, the Kwacha has lost its power from K3.5 during MMD time to K21 to a Dollar, the foreign reserves have dwindled to below one billion. We have driven the debt stock of the country to unsustainable levels at the expense of the Zambian people and their ability to have a normal life. As a result of these, in this coming election I will ask my party not to field me’. I think at this particular point, we turn to the Zambian people, it is them who are feeling the pain, it’s them who are feeling the hunger, they are feeling the cost of living and I think the Zambian people just need to brace themselves and stand in those lines and register to vote,” Mumba said.
“The only way out is first of all, don’t expect the Patriotic Front to say they will not field, or President Lungu to say he is not going to run, don’t expect that to come from them. The only power we have is to keep speaking so that they can reason but besides that, we just need to register and present the verdict through the ballot and that is what we are telling the Zambian people. You have to save yourselves. The PF is not going to save you from themselves, it’s only the Zambian people who can save you from the Patriotic Front and they can only do that through the ballot box. That is why we are going around the country telling our people please register, it is the only way we free ourselves from the current challenge we face as a country.”
Mumba said President Lungu’s desire to stand in 2021 was expected.
“The issue of the President wanting to stand consistently is expected, there is no history on the continent of any President who says ‘for me, I won’t stand’. Out of that, we should just now fall on ourselves to build the democratic power that we have been given through the ballot to make that decision. We have a history ourselves as MMD where we as a party pushed for president Chiluba to go for a third term and the nation was watching us and people were discussing and we felt very invisible because we were in power. But when it came down to it, we couldn’t pull it off because the Zambian people said no,” said Mumba.
“So it can pass at a party level but it is not going to pass at a national level if it is not consistent with the law. So this challenge really is a do or break decision that the Patriotic Front. I don’t think any of us can do anything if we advise the Patriotic Front they have never listened to us. So I don’t think they are going to listen to us even on this one. Let them continue with what they are doing and let the law itself stop them or allow them.”