HAKAINDE Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba will not succeed in hoodwinking Zambians into believing that the reason his election petition against the re-election of President Edgar Lungu was because the Constitutional Court refused to entertain his petition, says PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya.
Mr Bwalya said Zambians were enlightened and knew that Mr Hichilema’s lawyers squandered their time by raising too many unnecessary applications in the Constitutional Court and as experienced lawyers they knew about the constitutional limitation of 14 days during which the petition must be concluded.
He said the Constitutional Court should hear an election petition filed in accordance with Article 101 (5) and 103 (2) within 14 days of the filing of the petition.
Mr Bwalya said one did not need to be a lawyer to understand the reality that the countdown for the 14 days provided for in the Constitution within which to hear an election petition started on the day Mr Hichilema’s lawyers filed the petition.
“Against this background, all reasonable Zambians believe that Mr Hichilema is to blame for the failure of his election petition. Therefore, trying to convince Zambians otherwise is a waste of time,’’ he said.
On the refusal by the UPND leader to accept defeat, Mr Bwalya said Zambians have not forgotten that he vowed not to accept the outcome of the August presidential election if he lost.
Mr Bwalya said the opposition leader came up with all kinds of unreasonable allegations as reasons why he would not accept defeat. He recalled that Mr Hichilema claimed that the PF had connived with Government wings to register thousands of foreign voters as part of the scheme to rig elections.
Mr Hichilema also opposed the printing of ballot papers by the Dubai-based printing company, claiming that it was State House that had handpicked the company to rig elections.
He said no one should be surprised that Mr Hichilema had chosen to live by his own word not to accept defeat, stating that the UPND engaged in massive rigging in their strongholds which gave them confidence of scooping the presidency.
He said their defeat after the rigging had shocked them and it ‘‘will take a bit of time before they come to terms with the loss’’.
Mr Bwalya said the refusal to concede defeat by Mr Hichilema had come as a blessing in disguise because it has helped Zambians understand his unreasonableness, arrogance and dictatorial tendencies.
He appealed to the public not to panic regarding rumours circulating about the High Court stopping the swearing-in of President-elect Lungu on Tuesday at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
‘‘The truth of the matter is that there is no court in Zambia that is currently hearing a petition against the election of President Lungu and his running mate Inonge Wina.
‘‘The election petition by HH that attempted to get the Constitutional Court to nullify the election of President Lungu collapsed and therefore, we should all just focus on Tuesday next week,’’ he said .