THE onus is on President Edgar Lungu to tell us the truth about his identity, says Mike Mulongoti.
Mulongoti, who is People’s Party president, said on Hot FM’s Red Hot breakfast yesterday that no one was persecuting President Lungu.
“First of all, this is something that is in his own book ‘Against all odds’ by Anthony Mukwita. There are a lot of inconsistencies in that book. So, we are trying to seek clarity from his own record, secondly even in his campaign manifesto also carried some inconsistencies. So it’s only fair that we pursue this matter. It’s not that we are after an individual but he is holding the highest office in the land. The onus is on him to tell us the truth about his identity,” Mulongoti said.
Asked why it took him so long to bring out President Lungu’s identity issue, Mulongoti said: “We need to understand that investigations take too long. We had to search and find details. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. But the principle is this: Whoever takes public office must be open to scrutiny and at the same time accept that look, that is public office and you can’t hold it and get away with inquiries especially to do with your conduct and your identity.”
Asked why he had decided to talk about President Lungu’s identity now when he supported and campaigned for him, Mulongoti said: “When I left MMD, Mr. [Michael] Sata approached me for help. I committed myself not as MMD but as Mike Mulongoti…I supported him and he formed government. He ruled and died…I made commitment that I was not going to fight them…he sent a delegation to me when he heard that MMD was requesting me to go back and campaign for MMD. He sent a delegation to stop me and said I was a mother of his government…I helped him so why kick my own child? On the basis of that I conceded and forgot about MMD. He ruled for the time he did. He passed on but with the commitment I made to him, when President Lungu came, he was a candidate of the PF, not my candidate…so since I was committed to the party, I had to honour it. So, I had to campaign for him. I didn’t even know him. I had no data on him.”
He said it was unfortunate that he had to defend things he did not know about President Lungu during campaigns.
Asked whether he was bitter because he was not given a job by the PF, Mulongoti said: “The job I would want is being a president and that is the position he is holding. I cannot look for a job as a minister, I would want to be a president. That is why I am a president of a political party. I want to become president of Zambia one day. That is what I am targeting; not targeting minister or whatever, whatever, no!”
He said President Lungu needed to tell the nation the truth about his identity.
“The onus is on him. We are only asking him to come clean. We are not persecuting him, it is an obligation for him as President of Zambia to tell us who he is. I have refused to debate with my chiefs. Where I come from, chiefs are respected. I will not engage in altercations with my chiefs. If they want me, I have said I am available to sit down with them so that they can hear my side of the argument.”