NO amount of blackmail or intimidation will stop Patriotic Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu from pursuing and recovering public money owed by the clique that has over the years exhibited high levels of impunity and calumny against innocent citizens.
Addressing a mammoth rally in Chipata yesterday, Mr Lungu declared that nothing would stop him from ensuring that those who fraudulently owed Zambians were made accountable by paying back the people’s money
“I did not create the law and it demands that whoever owes must pay back. No amount of blackmail and intimidation will stop me from recovering the people’s money overdue,” Mr Lungu said.
And a combination of former president Rupiah Banda and the Patriotic Front president in the coming presidential election has sent panic and fears among cartel members who are determined to avoid facing the law for the financial crimes they have committed against Zambians.
The PF has said the cartel that held President Michael Sata hostage and almost hijacked the presidency of the ruling party and State power was dead scared with the support Mr Banda had given Mr Lungu and were worried about their future because they knew the wrongs they had committed against Zambians.
Meanwhile, Sports and Youth Minister Chishimba Kambwili has rubbished reports that Mr Banda had offered to support Mr Lungu on conditions that his cases before the courts of law were discontinued.
“It is actually me who approached Mr Banda and not Edgar and so these media reports are not true. The newspaper has always wanted to persecute Mr Banda. Even its coverage on Mr Banda about his court cases has been persecution.
“We approached Mr Banda so that he could help us campaign for PF so that we defeat UPND. We don’t want UPND to win these elections because once they win the election, this country will be divided,” Mr Kambwili said.
And PF media and publicity director Brian Hapunda said yesterday that some named media house and its allies had seen that Mr Lungu was unstoppable and had embarked on a propaganda campaign to slander and malign the Defence and Justice minister and Mr Banda.
He said one newspaper was inventing allegations that it would become a target of persecution should Mr Lungu become president because of the endorsement he had received from Mr Banda who was a victim of the schemes of the cartel.
Mr Hapunda said there was nothing wrong with the former president to supporting Mr Lungu in the coming presidential election, adding that there were other senior citizens who had endorsed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema but had not been condemned or demonized. He said Mr Banda was being demonised by the cartel because it had realized that Mr Lungu was destined to be the sixth republican president despite the sustained propaganda against the PF president.
“It is unfortunate that some newspaper with its allies have become so desperate to the extent that they are inventing issues to show that they will become victims of persecution once Mr Lungu becomes president after January 20 presidential election. Their fears have been compounded by the fact that former president Banda has endorsed Mr Lungu. The cartel knows the wrongs it has committed against Zambians.
“There has never been a time when Mr Lungu and Mr Banda met to discuss the removal of Mr Nchito as DPP or the closure of any newspaper. They are scared of their own shadows but real time will soon come,” Mr Hapunda said.
He stated that the negative publicity against Mr Lungu had in fact made the PF leader more popular and accepted because Zambians had realized that the cartel was bitter after failing to impose a candidate they would easily hold hostage and manipulate. Mr Hapunda said at no time had Mr Lungu and Mr Banda met to discuss the removal of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, closure of the Post Newspaper or the dropping of the former president’s cases.
He said the media house with its allies were scared because of the political and economic transgressions they had committed against Zambians over decades, injuring and blackmailing citizens without being challenged.
He said the fear that the law would soon catch up with members of the cartel has forced the clique to start “shooting aimlessly” at citizens who had nothing to do with their failure to retain their supremacy in Government and State institutions.