LEADER of the Opposition Brian Mundubile says former president Edgar Lungu had every reason to petition the elections given the violence which characterised the polls but he decided to look at the bigger picture, which is Zambia.

Giving his maiden speech in Parliament and contributing to the motion moved by Vice-President Mutale Nalumango on the approval and establishment of government ministries and departments, Tuesday, Mundubile said Lungu was a statesman.

“Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the former Head of State president Edgar Chagwa Lungu for being magnanimous in conceding defeat and allowing smooth transfer of power. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu had every reason to petition the elections given the violence that I have pointed out. He decided to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is Zambia. He, therefore, decided to meet with his brother President Hakainde Hichilema and decided to allow a smooth transfer of power. What a statesman! President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has set a higher standard going forward such that even leaders in the not too distant future should follow that standard in conceding whenever they lose elections. We look forward to seeing that happen not too long from now,” Mundubile said.

He said it was difficult for him to congratulate his fellow members of parliament because of the violence which characterised the recent elections.

“We as members of the PF are starting this first session of the 13th National Assembly with heavy hearts, having gone through an election which was characterized with unprecedented levels of violence. An occasion such as this would have been one where we are exchanging congratulatory messages having being elected or re-elected to parliament but we find it extremely hard to do that and indeed congratulate our colleagues because of the many families that are still mourning, having lost their beloved ones dues to the violence that occurred during the elections,” he said.

“Madam Speaker, it is indeed very difficult to stand here and congratulate honorable members for their election to parliament when families are still mourning their departed fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, all because of electoral violence. Madam Speaker, no decent society can cast a blind eye to what transpired before, during and after elections and gloss over the loss of life of fellow citizens who were merely exercising their democratic rights of belonging to political parties of their choice.”

Mundubile further called on President Hakainde Hichilema to put an end to electoral violence.

“Madam Speaker, the death of one Jackson Kungo, a member of our party and central committee and many other citizens whose lives were lost during the past elections including the killing of two of our members in Kanyama, cast a dark spell on our democracy. There is no political position that is worth dying for, neither is there any political position worth killing for. Madam Speaker, as political leaders we need to set a standard that will be based on Christian values even as we conduct our political activities, a standard that will allow every Zambian to choose their leaders without fear or favour. A standard that will not include militia grouping in the name of political cadres. We, therefore, expect His Excellency the President of this Republic to put to an end this electoral violence,” said Mundubile.