LEADER of the Opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile has asked President Hakainde Hichilema to find healing and forgive those who wronged him in the past, saying many things that are going wrong now are directly connected to the bitterness he holds.

And Mundubile says PF members should not worry because one does not need to be a member of the central committee to stand as party president.

Speaking when he featured on 5FM’s Burning Issue programme, Thursday, Mundubile said President Hichilema’s constant reference to the time he was incarcerated showed that he had neither healed nor forgiven those who were in government at that time.

“It has become clear to the Zambian people that the President was not ready to govern. It has become clear to Zambians that the President was still bitter. His demeanor and tone at that press conference was not one we expected from the President. This is not the President who won eight months ago with an overwhelming mandate. You do not expect a powerful office of the President to descend into an arena of calling out names. We expect a higher standard from the office. So many Zambians were saddened on that day. The President had been preaching forgiveness but his constant reference of everything to the time he was incarcerated only pointed to one thing that the President has not healed and that the President has not forgiven those who were in government that time,” he said.

“The Commander-in-Chief calls you out and says you will pay. That is a direct instruction to law enforcement officers. I have made this appeal to the President. Mr President, please we are begging you as the father of the nation, please forgive those who have wronged you in the past. Find it within your conscience and heart to forgive all of those that you feel did something bad to you. For those who offended you, find some healing so that you now emerge as father of the nation and begin to govern this country with love. The many things that are going wrong now are directly connected to the bitterness that he holds himself. So if we are going to expect anything out of this government the starting point should be the President finding healing within himself and for the President to forgive those that may have offended him in the past.”

Mundubile said government’s pronouncement that things were better was a mockery of the century.

“I have heard from the Vice President and members of Parliament saying things are better. I think that is a mockery of the century. How can Zambia be better when you were in opposition then, saying a bag of mealie meal at K100 is too high and now it is nearing K200? Can you believe that? If what we did as PF was colossal, they should not struggle to bring the prices down. What excuse do they have? They convinced the Zambian people that they will turn around the economy. Clearly, they underrated the assignment. They are now in power and coming face to face with reality. The only thing they can say is blame the PF. The people are tired of blaming the PF. The people are not interested,” he said.

“The difference between the UPND and us is that for us, the citizens came first. For our friends, they put everything else first before our citizens. That is why they are having challenges. The Zambian people trusted the PF because we uplifted the lives of the poor. Yes, we may have had omissions on one or two things but we always have our people at the center stage. Going forward, we will do everything possible to ensure that we lower the cost of living. Of course lower than what we are experiencing now.”

Meanwhile, Mundubile said any attempts to drag judges and the Judiciary into the mud should be condemned.

“Our concern now is where the country is going. It is not about a PF member who is arrested. If we let things continue in the manner we are seeing them, we may have no country to talk about not too long from now. We cannot trivialise positions of judges where somebody should go out there to say a judge decided that way because they were appointed by the regime and we had judges appointed by Edgar Lungu deciding against PF. I want us to continue believing in judges because for them, everything revolves around the law,” he said.

“So I think these men and women of very high standing in society must be respected at all times. So sometimes when we see certain actions against them meant to lower the image of the Judiciary and judges, it becomes very sad. I want to appeal to the new dawn government that whatever you may want to do, let us ensure that judges and the Judiciary in general continue to occupy a higher place. If there is going to be any justice to talk about let us ensure we respect the courts and judges. Any attempt or selfish reasons that one may have in trying to drag judges and the Judiciary into the mud should be condemned.”

And Mundubile said PF members should not worry because one did not need to be a member of the central committee to stand as party president.

“Many people may have misinterpreted that matter. Firstly, it is not that you have to be a member of the central committee to stand as president. There are many other people who are in local structures who may aspire to stand as president as long as one qualifies to be a delegate at the convention. People must not be worried. Of course, as a party we want to listen to our members. Those reactions are welcome and we do not despise those that are reacting in the manner that they are. As a democratic party, we need to play by the ear and listen to the members,” said Mundubile.

“I think it will be good to wait and see when the central committee has completed its appointments and maybe that is when some reactions will be justified. When members do not fully understand it is our duty as leaders to explain to them that even your favourite candidates may not be disadvantaged on account of this particular process. Even in an unlike situation one’s preferred candidate is not on that list, it is not the end. What we agreed on is that there will be no one who will be disqualified on a technicality. I think that is not the way we want to govern the party. So members must be very comfortable that no technicality will be used to disadvantage any aspiring candidate.”