UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango says President Edgar Lungu continues to endanger Zambians’ lives with his continued trips because he is not paying attention to COVID-19 guidelines.

In an interview, Nalumango said President Lungu was more focused on holding onto power.

“I don’t think that President Lungu really cares about the Zambian people, I don’t think he lives in reality. I don’t think he understands what is at stake. I don’t think Zambians are his concern, his concern is his own power, holding onto power and harnessing wealth. That is the concern of the Patriotic Front, honestly and sincerely speaking, I feel sad for us because that is exactly what he wants because if he cares for Zambians, he would be number one not to bring crowds together unnecessarily. He would be the one in the forefront, but as long as it works for his political expediency, then that is okay. What do we have in the country? Do we have a Republican President? Or do we have simply a party president whose agenda is to serve his party to remain in power,” Nalumango said.

She said it was unfortunate that PF leaders were risking citizens’ lives when they had access to better healthcare.

“He knows people are dying daily, this wave is vicious that even a small meeting is scary to us! The big gatherings should be only out of necessity like the funeral we had, but even there, if there was a way we would say stay away, but that is an emotive thing, it is not a meeting. There is nothing emotive about a meeting and it is not even a decision-making meeting, it is a political meeting. Decision meetings can be done virtually. Internationally, there are meetings held like that,” said Nalumango.

“When you see a person having a meeting of such crowds where people can’t social distance, then you wonder what they are after. So, it is unfortunate his own people in the PF are down, but maybe because they have no care because they have access to better healthcare. What of that villager, that person from the compound that you are calling together, they can’t even afford a mask. Come on, it is painful!”

Last Thursday, President Lungu jetted off to the Copperbelt where he held various meetings with different stakeholders, including party officials and visiting mining companies in Kitwe.

He also drove through the Copperbelt University (CBU), which drew a sizable crowd, with some spotted not adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, such as adequate social distancing or masking-up.

Prior to the second wave last year, several PF and government officials contracted COVID-19 following large, uncoordinated gatherings where those in attendance were not masking-up nor keeping themselves socially distant.