‘‘I HAVE never said that I am going to resign neither am I going to be evacuated to Pakistan,’’ President Edgar Lungu has said.
Dispelling rumours, innuendoes and insinuations that his condition was critical to continue presiding over the affairs of the country, President Lungu said there was nothing for him to do in Pakistan because his medical team and the South African doctors were capable and equal to the task.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Nation yesterday, President Lungu who is in South Africa for high-tech medical treatment for his achalasia (a condition of narrowing of the food pipe), said he was being as transparent as possible over his health to avoid causing anxiety among Zambians.
The Head of State said he had nothing to hide about his health and that was why he had invited the Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) to send their own team of doctors to visit him and get an update on how he was responding to treatment.
He said he was alive to the fact that there was a clique of individuals who were wishing him ill health because of their hatred against the Head of State.
President Lungu said some media houses were tailoring their stories to suit their agenda of propagating hatred against him as an individual and as Republican President with the desire to bring him down. He said rumours being peddled by some online publication that he would be evacuated to Pakistan were malicious and meant to cause anxiety and alarm among Zambians.
The Head of State speaking in a jovial mood, stated that he was however happy that Zambians were seeing through the malice and were not paying attention to the gossip. “I heard from my daughter that I am going to be evacuated to Pakistan…what is in Pakistan for me? I am being as transparent as possible about my health and they have continued spreading malicious rumours. If you are going to monitor the interview I had with SABC (South African Broad Corporation), I said I had nothing to hide about my health. I said we are coming from a background where the country has lost two sitting presidents and I will be failing in my duties if I do not update the people and tell them the truth. I said if I am found sick, I will resign but of course some people would want to twist the story to suit their agenda. I never said I am going to resign,” President Lungu said with a laugh.
The Head of State said he was fine and that if he was going to feel sick and incapable to continue leading the country, he would be the one to inform the nation about it. He said he was not bothered about the continued slander and malice he had suffered at the hands of a selected group of individuals but vowed that he was not going to be brought down because he had the responsibility to govern and honour what he had promised Zambians. President Lungu said former president Michael Sata was maligned and slandered until he died and that now that he had succeeded him, he had become a victim of the same malice and defamation.
“They want to bring me down not for any discernable reason but hatred and pure evil. They are not going to succeed to bring me down using evil. They started long before I was adopted to contest the presidency. They fought hard to stop me from becoming President and they are still fighting. Why would people habour such kind of hatred against a fellow human being,” President Lungu wondered.
He said he was in capable hands in South Africa and that his medical team comprising South African and Zambian doctors was equal to the task and there was no need to be evacuated anywhere else.
“Why should people hate me so much? Anyway, I will not allow them to be elevated to my standard by responding to their slander and malice,” President Lungu said.