And Musenge says the arrest of Hichilema is putting the popularity of President Edgar Lungu and the PF at risk.
The immediate past Copperbelt minister said in an interview that attempts to speak to President Lungu over what was happening had failed and called for an immediate stop to the political fights.
“I know I am making this statement publicly when I ought to have spoken to the President directly. My attempts to do so have failed. I have literally failed to find access to the President, but my heart is burning because whatever is happening hinges on the dignity of my Republican President. The party is being affected – the popularity of the party is at risk, the popularity of my President is now at risk. I think it is important that we quickly put this matter to rest,” Musenge said.
In our country unfortunately, we are spending too much time fighting one another in the courts of law, spending too much energy pointing fingers at one another at the expense of national development. This has to change! We must shift from this and create an environment that shall focus on national development.
He said even countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo where there was turmoil had focused more on strengthening key economic sectors such as mining, attracting investment and technology to boost the economy with construction and mining equipment crossing borders every day.
He said the economic activities taking place in neighbouring countries, especially in mining, could not be equated to what was happening in Zambia.
“As Zambians, we need to be ashamed of ourselves. I want to appeal to my President. I know that this may even attract some repercussions but I speak with a bleeding heart because this is not how the country should go on. There are so many fights we have started. Already, we have issues with The Post where so many people have lost their jobs and now there is the HH issue. Of course, these are matters that President Lungu can handle in his office. Even (Fred) M’membe can be summoned and sat down and people can discuss and iron out matters. That’s the presidency! Nobody is above the presidency in the State. Whatever goes wrong in this country, even when we lose an election, everything falls on the President. My humble appeal is that President Lungu will at least look into these issues I have raised,” Musenge said.
He said he did not agree with assertions that President Lungu could not intervene in the treason charges slapped on Hichilema.
“It is extremely sad that the people that we regard as State counsels can be misleading the nation. I totally don’t agree with those saying nothing can be done by President Edgar Lungu on Hakainde Hichilema and the charges he is facing until the matter is concluded in the courts of law and that’s when the President can exercise his prerogative of mercy. That is totally misleading the nation and our party the PF. The situation we have at hand is very serious and I want to appeal to my President to seriously look into this matter and see how we can harmonise the situation,” Musenge said.
This matter has not gone to full trial and the Director of Public Prosecutions has not yet written to commence proceedings in the High Court at this stage. We know that everything falls on the Republican President and he can surely intervene and give direction over this issue. Let us allow this foolishness of HH to remain with him and not to drag in so many people to try and create so much confusion in this country even at the international level.
He warned that if the matter was not handled in a proper manner, it could lead to turmoil.
“And no one wants to see Zambia on fire because we only have one country. Indeed Hakainde and his team misbehaved but I want to appeal to President Lungu that he is our leader at the moment. He is our father and all of us, including HH, whether he likes it or not, is his child. They are not at the same level; HH is being governed. We as the PF in government have more important issues to attend to,” Musenge said.
He said there was a lot of work that needed to be done with many ordinary Zambians looking up to the government to give direction and solutions to a myriad of challenges facing the country.
Musenge said the country had seen a number of cases before that had been taken to court with huge resources spent but people were pardoned.
And in all this, resources, which could have been used to improve education and health infrastructure, would have been spent for nothing,