Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general Lucky Mulusa says if President Edgar Lungu listens to critics and clears the former ministers’ debt, people will start questioning his wealth.

In an interview, Mulusa advised the former ministers to seek a different payment schedule if they were unable to meet the 30-day ultimatum.

“The ministers themselves must pay as a demonstration of our respect for the rule of law and also to respect our courts. When our courts make a decision against a politician, against an influential person, against a politician, it’s important that whether we agree with the ruling or not, we need to build our democratic institutions to ensure that we obey the law. So, if the ministers are not able to pay, they must enter into an agreed repayment plan. But we must be seen to respect our institutions of democracy. The President cannot help them because it will be a demonstration of the President getting money illegally from somewhere. The President only has got so much salary so, his salary is stated,” Mulusa said.

“So, if he helps them, the next question will be where is he getting the money from? So, the Ministers must pay individually. They must pay and the President must not come in, he doesn’t have the money, he is not the highest paid Zambian. So, if he helps them where is he going to get the money from so we don’t want to start another cycle where we start questioning the efficacy of our President’s genuine conduct. The President doesn’t have the money to pay. So, if the ministers are unable to pay within the timeframe, they must approach the court and enter into a repayment plan.”

Mulusa said the PF was constantly trying to find legal loopholes to get away with maladministration.

“The ministers should take the President on, on the misleading statement. It’s extremely fortunate that the President has been known to be one of the best legal brains in Zambia. And personally, I have had discussions with him over legal issues and he has come out to be extremely brilliant on issues of the law. But then, some of the opinions he has rendered to himself has been less than impressive. You start wondering whether the law has been left to lawyers. The law should not be left to lawyers alone. The President, to tell you the truth is a brilliant legal mind but how he disentangles himself from legal restraint in his pursuant of Presidential duties shocks me,” he said.

“It reminds me of the fact that the law is too important to be left to lawyers alone. He is unlike Mwanawasa, you know Mwanawasa constantly reminded himself that apart from being President, he was a lawyer and he needed to respect and do everything according to the law. But then in the PF there is a culture to find faults in the law in order to misrule, mislead the country. They are trying to find legal loopholes constantly in order to get away with maladministration. It’s very sad.”

He said it was shocking that despite being a brilliant lawyer, President Lungu had misguided the country on a number of serious legal matters.

“And for President Lungu himself and I hope one day President Lungu will be out of office and him and I will share a glass of wine and we will discuss over his rule. And say big man, how was it here? It’s terrible. To tell you the truth, it’s terrible, that sometimes I cry honestly. Honestly speaking, I never left my comfortable job in the diaspora to come and find myself in this kind of shenanigans. I find themselves in a situation where every job I have handled, it has gone to die. Look at my office at State House, it’s longer what it used to be,” said Mulusa.

“Look at my ministry, National Development Planning, the ministry is dead. No one can argue with me, the ministry is dead, the implementation of the seventh national development Plan is not there. No one can even say I’m arrogant, the fact of the matter is that the seventh national development plan ended at planning. We planned it and it ended there. I cry for my country because of the same.”