The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) says President Edgar Lungu has failed to run the country, and therefore, must be impeached so that his running mate madam Inonge Wina can takeover the presidency. The biggest opposition party holds the view that President Edgar Lungu does not deserve to stay in office any longer.
“Edgar Lungu and his family must immediately be democratically impeached in order for Vice President Inonge Wina to complete his last term in office. Those who are close to Mr Lungu and love him will agree that stepping down is the most dignified exit he can do for now if he was to enjoy some bit of respect,” argued Patrick Mucheleka who is the party’s deputy secretary general.
“As UPND, we keep receiving and reading disturbing reports and news items of citizens in distress situations, while Edgar Lungu and his family are over-enjoying in the luxuries! Farmers in most parts of the country have not been paid their money for last season’s crop produce, while [the] majority have also not received fertilizer and other inputs for this farming season, which is almost coming to an end. Council, Zampost, National Housing and other workers are going months without salaries, retirees are languishing, and students in higher learning institutions are going without allowances…”
We find this impeachment call from the UPND useless for two reasons. But first we would like to outline a few areas where we agree with them.
It is it true that our President has diverted from everything that he made Zambians believe he was. His promise to create jobs was fake, his promise to fight corruption was fake, his assurance that – as a lawyer – he would strictly uphold the rule of law was fake, his pledge to continue with Michael Sata’s vision was fake, his devotion towards Christianity and upholding Christian values was fake. In short he is a fake President. He has lamentably failed to create wealth for Zambia, but he has succeeded to create massive riches for himself, his family and friends. On that score, we agree with the UPND that he doesn’t deserve to be in office.
We also agree with this biggest opposition political party that, with all her weaknesses, bo Ma Inonge Wina would make a better Head of State than Mr Lungu. Why do we think so? Despite her failure to exhibit the zeal of fighting corruption under President Lungu, the incumbent Vice-President of Zambia has no corruption record. In fact, we don’t imagine that there is any Zambian who thinks Vice-President Wina sits in her office with crooks to plan on how they will steal public funds. We have not heard a relative of bo Inonge Wina implicated in a corruptly awarded government tender – and we don’t think such a relative would receive much protection from her. So that gives us confidence that a lot of corrupt contractors and state capturers would, not only be frustrated, but also hunted down.
But going back to the call from the UPND that President Lungu must be impeached; we find a couple of things awkward. This is the biggest opposition party calling for the President to be impeached. To whom are they making that call if they are failing to do it themselves? UPND should not be making the call to the public, the public should be making the call to them. If they have solid grounds for impeaching the Head of State, the UPND should, without making noise, simply convene a meeting with its dwindling number of members of parliament and strategize on how they would solicit for votes to support the impeachment motion in the National Assembly.
It is, in our view, useless to talk about impeachment if they have given up or they have been outplayed by the ruling Patriotic Front. The entire previous session of Parliament went down without the biggest opposition party resuscitating the impeachment motion; one technical objection and everything went dead. Zambians don’t even know what happened. So what impeachment is the UPND leadership talking about?
And when you look at their complaints, they have even forgotten the argument basis on which they want President Lungu impeached. They are talking about farmers not getting their money on time, ZAMPOST employees going without salaries and university students lacking meal allowances. How is any of that a ground for impeaching the Head of State? A basis for being voted out of power is not the same as grounds for impeachment. Last year, the UPND said they had plenty of grounds on which they would ensure that Mr Lungu is Constitutionally ousted before 2021, let them bring them forward and restart the process.
In the absence of that courage, our opinion is that the UPND must stop talking about impeachment for the sake of politicking. They are simply disturbilising the economy, and quite frankly, annoying those citizens who are looking upto them for solutions to their problems.