FORMER Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu says it is hypocritical for people who used to hurl insults at President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema to now u-turn and start congratulating him on his victory.

In an interview, Monday, Archbishop Mpundu said he was not impressed with President-Elect Hichilema’s critics who were now trying to be in good books with him after previously issuing malicious comments against him.

“What we are dealing with here is hypocrisy. You know, we can criticize but your fair criticism helps anyone who is fighting to go into leadership, critical leadership. It is unfair criticism creating stories and then coming up with insults, and all of a sudden they are changing like chameleons, now to declare favour. The new boss is there now and they want to do what they did to the previous one. I’m not impressed personally. When you start your criticism, which is correct, which is constructive, it’s welcome. But destructive criticism is not Christian, it is not democratic at all, it is just destructive,” he said.

“The man who has been insulted, it is not just criticism. You look at them and say ‘alright, they are trying to get something out of me’. I’m going to be straight, there is nothing underhand and if they want something, they have to prove that it is needed for the nation, not for themselves. So I am not impressed by those people congratulating him. Before that, they were at the forefront of malicious criticism, so they are just hypocrites. We Zambians must stand up to principles, then we will enhance our democratic credentials.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop Mpundu advised the new administration to release more money for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Where to get correct statistics, it’s to go to the professionals, health delivery professionals. They will tell you that up to now, those who have received the vaccine are only two percent. The government refused to release the money to have more vaccines come from America. I don’t understand why people in government would be risking people’s lives by giving false stories, statistics, and information. As soon as he comes in, he has to look into that. This pandemic is real, everybody knows but we have been treating it with kid gloves,” said Archbishop Mpundu.

“Those who were supposed to be giving good examples were going ahead with campaigns, not enough protection day in and day out when the President who is now outgoing knew that the campaign period had ended. We shouldn’t allow this now, that people at the top administration of our government should be the first ones to be lawless, no it is not right, the pandemic is still there. Two percent of the population is not enough, money must be released at once. As soon as the President comes in he must be told the true facts, not what has been fabricated.”