“I DO not want to accept favours from people who want to be part of my campaign team with conditions that would leave me held hostage or blackmailed after assuming the presidency of the country,” Patriotic Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu has declared.
Mr Lungu said his primary desire in seeking to be elected president of the country was to be a true servant of the people and not their master whose main preoccupation would be to appoint people to Government positions without considering merit and ability.
Mr Lungu, who is PF president, said he was not seeking the presidential office to award friends big Government positions but that he was seeking the mandate of Zambians to govern so that he could be of service and help reconstruct the economy.
He disclosed that the PF MPs who were endorsing Mr Hichilema for this month’s presidential election were desperate job seekers who attempted to cajole him into appointing them into bigger Government positions even before the ruling party had been given the mandate to continue presiding over the affairs of the country.
Talking to journalists soon after presenting hampers to New Year babies at the University Teaching Hospital yesterday, Mr Lungu said he was a factor in the coming presidential election and that was why politicians of all hues were talking and maligning him to attract media attention.
He said Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo was a finished politician whose only means of survival was changing political parties at opportune times to continue peddling her existence on the political stage.
“Who is Sylvia Masebo in politics today? Ms Masebo is a nonentity and a finished politician. Most of these frustrated politicians endorsing Mr Hichilema know I am a factor in this presidential election. I am a giant and that is why people like Masebo and others are using my name to attract media attention so that they can be covered.
“These endorsements will have no effect on my election as president of the country. In fact some of them wanted me to award them with the position of vice-president but I am not seeking public office to give big Government positions to friends and relatives but to be a servant of the people,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu has described MsMasebo as a political nonentity and a finished politician whose endorsement of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema would have no effect on his (Lungu) prospects of being elected president of the country.
And Mr Lungu has challenged his political opponents spreading malicious speculations about his health to go for medical tests to any hospital of their choice to ascertain their physiological fitness.
Mr Lungu said he was enjoying good health and that if at any time he would fall ill, he would be ready to go to hospital and mocked those claiming that he was sick that it was not the physical appearance of the body that determined the fitness of an individual.
Mr Lungu said he was as health as he could be and that he believed in routine medical check-ups like any responsible individual who cared about his or her health.
“I am as health as I can be and for those who are speculating about my health, I challenge them that we go for medical tests to any hospital of their choice and we will see who is sick and who is not.
Do not look at bodies and think you are not sick and for me, if at any time I will fall sick, I will go to the hospital,”Mr Lungu said.