PF NATIONAL deputy chairperson Davies Chama says there is no substance in the claims being made by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu that the ruling party is trying to eliminate UPND president Hakainde Hichilema from the 2021 race.

And Chama says government shouldn’t be dragged into people’s personal fights.

In an interview, Chama said he did not think Archbishop Mpundu was currently of sound mind.

“For me, Archbishop Mpundu, he is a tired man. I don’t know the state of his mind. Basically I can even question the state of his mind. It is very unfortunate coming from an elderly person, especially a man of the collar. We respect people from the church but I know he is a retired Archbishop, I don’t know the state of his mind, whether he is losing his mind or something terrible is happening to him. I think he has some personal issues that he has to personally evaluate. There is no substance to what he is saying, don’t bring an innocent state which was not part of whatever criminality that was taking place. It is imaginary what the Archbishop is trying to [say]. I know that he is politically inclined. So those imaginary things the so-called Bishop is trying to imagine in his head, because I don’t think he is of sound mind, that I can say very clearly,” Chama said.

“I doubt if he is of sound mind. It is very unfortunate, I have been following what he has been saying, he is supposed to be an elder statesman to be able to unite all of us in a political field, to be able to pray for us, a fountain of wisdom, a person of innocence, where everybody should be able to go so that we all should receive counsel from a person who has retired from such high profile positions that he held. So when you find a person who held such a high position of Archbishop of Lusaka for that matter, of the Catholic Church and he is now bringing the church in disrepute which is very very unfortunate. We feel sad that some of us can deliberately bring the church in disrepute like this, because to disconnect him from the church it is a very thin line. I am comforted that he is a retired person, he is not representing the church, he is representing himself. You know when you go berserk sometimes, if Mr Chama goes berserk, I need to be taken to Chainama, it is not the government who has gone berserk, it is Mr Chama who has gone berserk as an individual. So it is unfortunate maybe some people need some mental evaluation.”

And Chama said PF was not in the business of eliminating any opposition leader from the 2021 race.

“PF is not in the business of eliminating people from the race for whatever reasons but it’s for you people to interrogate. If for instance I take you to court, can I accuse FDD that they want to eliminate you? So how does taking you to court on a personal note that you have committed some issues with me which are criminal in nature, how do you bring a third party, which is not party to that issue that has been brought before you? If for instance you assault me the only place I can go is the state, in this case there is a state in Zambia which is the government of the republic of Zambia, where every citizen can go and complain. So you can’t accuse the state that the state is trying to eliminate you. The state was not there when you were starting a fight. I don’t know how you can bring in the state because the state is an institution where you can go and complain,” Chama said.

“So I don’t know what the so-called Archbishop is insinuating, that people should not be able to go to the state to complain if they have issues with a fellow citizen; or he is insinuating that people are above the law? Those are questions that you need to interrogate the Bishop, that certain characters, because they are leaders of opposition parties, certain people because they are privileged, they are untouchable? Then I don’t know what type of state you are going to run. If a certain person, because he is rich or politically connected, then when he injures you a citizen of Zambia, then he is immune? I don’t know what type of country you are going to run. I am just giving an analysis of what may transpire. That Archbishop of yours you have quoted is claiming that certain individuals must be above the law. It can’t be like that.”

Chama said government could not create a criminal case against any individual.

“So as PF, our conscience is very very clear, we are not in any business of eliminating anybody for political expediency. We don’t sit down and start scheming and start finding cases for people. We can’t create a case for you, you can only create your own case yourself based on what you have done as an individual. What you have done is what is going to exonerate you. If you are clean, you have nothing to fear, you should be able to say ‘me I am clean, I have nothing to fear’, you should not even accuse the state for that matter because your record is clean. It is only the guilty who are afraid. For those who are clean they should not even worry at all. The state does not create cases for people, people create their own cases,” said Chama.