PF is not always going to do everything right, PF is not a party of angels, it is not a party led by God, it is a party led by a mortal, but a good one, a good man who listens, says Lunte PF member of parliament Mutotwe Kafwaya.

He adds: “So because we are human beings, we have got human limitations, I can understand one area but I won’t understand the rest of the areas and I depend on you colleagues to understand other areas where you are experts. This implies that we need each other. But if the rest of the people who might know a bit are not ready to offer checks and balances, it means we are not receiving any value from them, and as far as UPND and NDC are concerned, we are not receiving any value from them. They are irrelevant.”

This is a very powerful reminder to the people of Zambia, especially us the critics of the Head of State. It is important for us to factor in the human element in the leadership style of President Edgar Lungu and accept that he is bound to make mistakes.

We do not agree with Honourable Kafwaya when he says the opposition is irrelevant, and we also have challenges accepting that the President is a listening man. But he has a valid point to say the Head of State is not an angel from Heaven. As a mortal, President Lungu has weaknesses, limitations and shortfalls. He lacks monopoly of wisdom; he is not the epitome of leadership knowledge. But sometimes we the critics forget all this.

In saying this, we do not mean to suggest that our criticism of President Lungu has been baseless. In fact, sometimes we fear that maybe President Lungu himself doesn’t realise that he is not God. He acts in a manner that brings out an embodiment of a Saint.

We have never heard President Lungu admitting that ‘on this and that decision, I made a mistake and I am asking the people of Zambia to forgive me’. Instead he exemplifies perfection. When our President admits that he has human limitations, he does it to mock his political rivals. We have heard him say “I am also just a human being, so don’t blame me if we have no rains or if it rains too much”.

We have a Head of State who feels, because he is leading a country, he is God’s most beloved child or probably His assistant. This is the divine sense with which President Lungu governs our country.

On June 21, 2017 during the launch of the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP), President Lungu said although God was in control, it was him in charge of Zambia.

“Let me emphasise that this morning I was talking to someone and I said ‘look, what is your problem?’ I am in charge of Zambia and God is in control. So just pray for me to do the right thing if what I am doing is wrong. I think your prayer will touch me and I will change but so far so good, I am on the right course and I am in charge,” said President Lungu.

This is where we have a problem. Even when he was asking for prayers to help him see where he was making mistakes, our President was in the same breath telling the nation that he was not doing anything wrong and he was almightily in charge of the country.

But Honourable Kafwaya brings a very timely reminder that this pomposity and arrogance from President Lungu is all part of his human weaknesses. Like any other human being, he too has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. At the end of the day, he is Lungu and not Mulungu.

In other words, Kafwaya was trying to remind us that despite all his weaknesses, there are some things that President Lungu has done for Zambia which citizens, especially us the critics, must appreciate. He is asking us to find the positive side of President Lungu’s leadership and make him feel encouraged by bringing that out.

Well, that would be the keep Zambia clean campaign. Like we said in our editorial comment on his response to the cholera outbreak, President Lungu has demonstrated political will and determination to change people’s mentality and mindset towards good hygiene practices.

The keep Zambia clean campaign has received an overwhelming response among citizens in all towns where there is a functioning and proactive local government authority. In Lusaka for example, those who haven’t been to the Capital City in recent months get shocked at how the environment has been transformed. There are still challenges with water reticulation, but this is a great start towards a great goal.

The same way that late president Levy Mwanawasa is remembered for his anti-corruption legacy, we are sure that if President Lungu left State House today, citizens would remember him for his keep Zambia clean campaign. Walking through Cairo Road today, you would have to be a horrible human being to throw any litter around.

This may sound like a very easy achievement, but President Lungu and his Cabinet have taken a huge risk by approving the unpopular decision to chase away vendors. They may not get any votes from the poor people in Lusaka compounds who earned a living selling merchandise from the corridors and streets, but harsh as it was, a decisions had to be made and the clean campaign had to start from somewhere.

All the President and his Local Government Minister need to do now is to ensure that they quickly find more decent and easily accessible alternative trading areas for the vendors, which is what they were doing last weekend. This achievement will completely shame the opposition leaders who are too jealous to appreciate, at least one accomplishment of the Head of State.

We don’t intend to chaff President Lungu unnecessarily, but his cleanliness is admirable. From his handwriting to his dressing, we can’t find faults on him. His elegant suits don’t embarrass us when he is in the midst of other international leaders. Those who have known him before can agree with us that President Lungu is the perfect interpretation of Trade Kings’ “Boom and the dirt is gone!”