ARCHBISHOP Telesphore Mpundu says after leading the country into an economic ditch, former president Edgar Lungu should be silent in a dignified manner.

And former Attorney General Musa Mwenye says Lungu’s hypocrisy remarks were a reminder of the arrogance citizens were subjected to during his time in power.

On Friday after late former president Rupiah Banda’s burial service, Lungu said there was a lot of hypocrisy because people were saying a lot of good things and yet they were doing bad things.

But in an interview, Archbishop Mpundu said it was a lack of judgement for Lungu to issue such remarks when people were mourning.

“How can you tell? Unless you have evidence with what this person is saying, that this is hypocrisy, why don’t you say ‘this fellow did this somewhere else and now today he is doing this’ but if you just make a blanket accusation, then people will not be sympathetic, they think you are just yawning aloud. Come to think of it, a person who has been leading this country into a ditch economically and socially, should take a distance. He should tell the President ‘I am sorry I will be joining you at a later date, not today, I want to have a break.’ But you want to be there, appear and to show that you are still around. It is a lack of judgment. Some of the people don’t know what you are talking about, simply say ‘ladies and gentlemen, you are not being true to yourselves because yesterday you said this’ and people will shut up. But if you just start giving comments in general, it is not the right thing to do,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

“I was just wondering what the man was talking about. I think the best for him is to maintain a dignified silence. When you talk, talk positively not negatively because no one is willing to listen at this particular time. People are mourning and now you come up with statements like that, no! it is not correct. When you appear at such a function, the best thing is to keep quiet, speak when you are spoken to and you remain intact as a human being.”

Archbishop Mpundu said Lungu was being a sour grape by spoiling things for others.

“But if you [are] just talking, then people will start asking questions ‘is that man still mourning the defeat he went through?’ He was licked by someone he thought he would lick. There is an expression of sour grapes because someone else is in the seat, and then you have to be there in order to present a face, he doesn’t need to be there, he is not the Head of State anymore. So, if he has that kind of attitude, it is better to stay away. He is spoiling things for others. It is time for him to learn,” said Archbishop Mpundu.

And in a post shared on his Facebook page, Friday, Mwenye said it was completely irresponsible of Lungu to issue such remarks.

“The word ‘hypocrisy’ is trending today for all the wrong reasons! Do former Presidents have people who advise them? After being accorded the kindness and consideration one never accorded others, instead of ‘thank you’ we are treated to the arrogance we were served for 7 years. President Hichilema has shown a lot of magnanimity during the funeral of late President Rupiah Banda and those in the UPND Government have treated former PF leaders better than they treated them or would have treated them had they won. They must be commended for facilitating an all inclusive and dignified send off for our late former President,” said Mwenye.

“It was therefore disheartening to hear former President Lungu say what he said. More disappointing was the fact that he said it at a time we are mourning the former President. Instead of honouring the man he called his brother, we are now forced to focus on his unfortunate words. With due respect to former President Lungu, that was completely irresponsible and is a stark reminder of the arrogance we were subjected to during his time in power.”

Speaking to journalists after Banda’s burial, Lungu said genuine dialogue was needed with one another for the country to move forward.

“This is time to reflect on the life of president Rupiah Bwezani Banda. All the statements have been made, obviously, he was not an angel, he had his own failings just like all of us. But if we learn to dialogue honestly with one another as we have experienced during the days of mourning, probably we can get somewhere as a country. Genuine dialogue between all of us, those who were in government before and those who are in now. But what we are seeing is hypocrisy, where people say good things and they do bad things. If we can expunge the hypocrisy from our lives and just say as it is between now and going into the future, that is the lesson that we are learning from Rupiah Banda’s legacy. People have said a lot of good things, may those good things become part of us,” said Lungu.