PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s enemies have started regrouping with the sole focus to campaign against the Head of State and the Patriotic Front ahead of next year’s elections.
PF deputy chairperson for media and publicity Sunday Chanda told the Daily Nation that the PF was aware of a scheme to create confusion and despondency in the ruling party.
Mr. Chanda noted with sadness that even some civil society organisations were part of the scheme aimed at discrediting President Lungu.
He cited a statement attributed to FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi suggesting that President Lungu’s appointment of Mulenga Sata as deputy minister at State House was a breach of the constitution as not only unfortunate but misleading and an attempt to scandalise the name of the president.
“The FODEP executive director and alleged UPND sympathizer Macdonald Chipenzi’s statement that His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu could have breached the constitution when he appointed Deputy Minister Mulenga Sata is founded in sheer desperation and dangerous ignorance of the law. Article 68, the provision Mr. Chipenzi chose to manipulate was framed to bar losing parliamentary candidates from being nominated as MPs. The reason is obvious. After being rejected by the people, a losing candidate cannot be forced on the people as a nominated MP behind their back. Logically, it refers to losing candidates because it would be redundant nominating a winning one,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said Mr. Chipenzi should know well that Deputy Minister Mulenga Sata never stood as MP but as councillor.
Mr. Chanda explained that the Constitution did not refer to councillors but MPs.
“In any case, even if it included councillors, Sata Jnr should still have had lost elections (rejected by the people) at that level not to deserve a nomination. So if the people accepted him as a Councillor, it follows that they would not have a problem with him being nominated as an MP,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said they were aware that President Lungu’s enemies were regrouping as evidenced by remarks from former vice president Dr. Guy Scott that there was a contradiction of late President Michael Sata’s vision with the strategic re-alignment of political forces, such as MMD and former President Rupiah Banda.
“We insist that President Sata had a larger than life personality and there was no way Zambia’s political order would have remained the same with the passing away of such a giant. Re-configuration had no option but to happen. While Dr. Scott would have preferred PF’s extinction, the people were determined to keep Sata’s dream alive. Therefore, Dr. Scott does not stand on high moral ground on this matter because he was determined to suffocate and mutilate the Sata vision had he not been defeated by people’s power,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said Dr. Scott was determined to see that President Lungu never became President and PF was kicked out of power, a scheme and campaign which he had continued from the background.
“We want to reiterate the position of PF’s Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri that Dr. Scott is working with enemies of President Lungu.
On that score we can say to him again that we will defeat him like we did before,” he said.
Mr. Chanda also reminded Dr. Scott and the PF enemies that Zambia had a President and therefore it was folly for anyone to think or create an impression that there was a leadership crisis.
“This is a fact that people such as Dr. Scott and his friends must accept that President Lungu is the people’s choice and he is marching into the 2016 elections much stronger than ever before. PF remains humbled at the immense support he has continued to receive from Zambians of all ages,” he said.
Mr. Chanda also advised Mr. Chipenzi that it was dangerous for him to mislead the people of Zambia.
“We can also advise Mr. Chipenzi to read the constitution as though it were a novel. This is what happens when an organization like FODEP is reduced to an extension of a political party,” said Mr. Chanda.