STATEMENT BY LEADER OF OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT HON. ROBERT CHABINGA IN RESPONSE TO FORMER PRESIDENT EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU’S FRIDAY PRESS BRIEFING.
Let me first of all pay tribute to the young people of this country for their determination to secure their future amidst serious economic and social challenges.
These challenges though serious, are not insurmountable.
I commiserate with the bereaved families of the young people that tragically perished when the earth at Senseli mine at KCM in Chingola collapsed on them.
I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. May the souls of our young men rest in peace.
The ascendency of the Patriotic Front (PF), the former ruling party during the 2011 General elections ignited optimism of accountability and transparency in the running of the affairs of both the party and country.
However let me be quick to indicate that in subsequent, years during the reign of President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu or ECL, both the party and country became shadows of themselves.
As they say, ‘ONLY A BAD FARMER CAN DESTROY A GOOD FARM.’ Listening to President Lungu’s lamentations during last Friday’s news conference demonizing state institutions which he was in charge of two years ago is beyond comprehension .
Simply put, l am at loss for words. However, allow me to highlight some of the misguided statements issued by the Former Head of State. As a democrat, President Lungu should realize that President Miles Sampa is the legitimate leader of the country’s biggest opposition party, as he is duly recognized by the national statutes in conforminty with the supreme laws of the land.
President Lungu by virtue of him failing to handover power at party level by perpetually holding on following his disastrous performance in 2021 general elections, is a clear case of political intrigue, blackmail and manipulation.
Mr. Lungu should at least show remorse for holding a thriving political party to ransom even when more than nine candidates had presented themselves for leadership by paying the nomination fee of two hundred thousand kwacha.
This was a statement that the PF is not and will never be short of leaders. Have we run short of leaders in this country sure? Why is our former president still thinking he can still come back? why, why, why? If those claiming President Lungu is popular and sellable why not just form their own political party?
It is also disheartening to hear the Former Head of State propagating unorthodox means of reclaiming power, which should clearly become a subject of interest for law enforcement agencies.
And my appeal to the law enforcement agencies is to apply the law fairly unlike heeding to empty threats from the aggrieved party headed by President Lungu. Consequently, even in his speeches, President Lungu should show remorse, magnanimity and gratitude due to the respect and treatment he has been accorded by the new dawn administration under President Hakainde Hichilema.
President Hichilema has demonstrated utmost love to his predecessor amidst heightened provocation. Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND are not to blame for the problems in the PF, but those who went to shed crocodile tears at the memorial of late president Michael Sata.
Sadly, for me, as leader of the opposition in Parliament, and President Sampa, the only crime we have committed to President Lungu is salvaging the party from political minions, charlatans and vultures that have been misleading him since his exit from power.
President Lungu deserves to rest rather than parade himself and issuing misguided, uncoordinated statements and pure comedy, as was the case last Friday.
Last but not the least, I’m advising my fellow Honourable Members of Parliament from the opposition PF that we need to accept reality and understand that leadership in the National Assembly has changed.
So discipline and decorum in the house have to be adhered to. We need to be non-political in the house and perform according to the wishes of the people that elected us. We must effectively represent them.
Let us offer constructive checks and balances in the house. That should be our core business.
I am the only leader of the opposition and Kantanshi MP Hon. Anthony Mumba is the Whip of the PF. So let us work as a team and not antagonise each other.
As a Friend of the media, allow me to wish you compliments of the season.
ISSUED BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, ZAMBIAN PARLIAMENT
HON. ROBERT CHABINGA
MP Mafinga Constituency