– Or he is the one writing it
Chief Mukuni says for president Edgar Lungu to say he wants to govern until 2026 it means that he has already seen the Constitutional Court verdict on his eligibility. He said it could be an indication that “court judgments are drafted at State House, that is why President Edgar Lungu had the courage to say that he wants to stay in office until 2026.”
And chief Mukuni says Presidents Edgar Lungu’s prayer against the UPND’s participation in elections is a sign that he will never engage Hakainde Hichilema in dialogue.
Recently in Garneton, Kitwe, President Lungu told the crowd at a campaign-rally-like meeting that he did not want to lose power in 2021 because he wants to go all the way to 2026.
“We promised people a lot of things. And [if] we don’t deliver; we are out in 2021. Me, I don’t want to go back. I want to finish 2021, 2026 elo nkaye; so that naine nkaleshimika nati kwena twalibomba (I want to look back with pride that we really worked),” President Lungu said.
And in Kasenengwa in Eastern Province, President Lungu, in apparent reference to the UPND, said he was “praying to God to disable one political party that is not contesting the Kasenengwa parliamentary seat if it is the causer of violence.”
“…You have been very peaceful and I hope you will continue with this same spirit until we vote on 6th September. We have received reports of violence in North-Western Province and also in Western Province. I hope the peace that has prevailed in Kasenengwa Constituency campaign is not because of the absence of one political party which has not contested Kasenengwa,” he said.
President Lungu said peace should always be encouraged.
“What I am saying is that if this is what it means to have one political party not participating in elections, let it be. So I am praying to God to disable that political party from participating in future elections if they are the causer of violence. I am saying so because wherever they are taking part, in the Western Province and North-Western Province, there is violence and I fear that in the next one week there might be more violence. Don’t argue because when MMD was in power, whenever they took part in elections, there was violence, the fight was between MMD and that political party, now that we are in power as PF, you will find that the fight is between PF and that political party…I thank you for holding the peace and I’m also thanking God for not allowing that party to take part in the elections,” said President Lungu.
But chief Mukuni said President Lungu’s statement in Kitwe was a true sign he was interfering with the judiciary.
“His desire to contest the 2021 presidential elections demonstrates his disrespect for the rule of law and the Constitution. As the situation stands now, the issue of him contesting the 2021 elections is still before the Constitutional Court and I know that president of the Constitutional Court Hildah Chibomba is yet to announce the dates for the final ruling,” he said.
“For President Lungu to say that he will go in 2026 is a sign he has already seen the verdict which is yet to be made by the Constitutional Court. This could be an indication that court judgments are drafted at State House, that is why President Edgar Lungu had the courage to say that he wants to stay in office until 2026.” Chief Mukuni said it was also clear that President Lungu had no regard for the court.
He cited the decision to promote Margaret Mwanakatwe as finance minister when her parliamentary seat, together with that of Prof Nkandu Luo, were nullified by the High Court. Chief Mukuni said while the court nullified Prof Luo and Mwanakatwe’s seats, President Lungu maintained the duo in his Cabinet. The duo has appealed the nullification in the ConCourt.
“No action has been taken by President Lungu, this is tantamount to interfering with the course of justice,” Mukuni said.
He further said the Head of State’s comments and actions seemed to suggest he also knew that the verdicts might be made after 2021.
“From his statements, it seems that he [President Lungu] knows very well what goes on in the Constitutional Court. That is why he had to move
Mwanakatwe to the Ministry of Finance and also retain Prof Luo,” he said.
And chief Mukuni said the decision to send a high-level ministerial delegation to the Vatican was against the President’s rhetoric that he had cut down on foreign trips.
“My suspicion would also be to the fact that the President wants the Vatican to stop the Zambian Bishops from pointing out the ills in government and also to make them stop calling for national dialogue led by the church,” said Mukuni.