Edgar Lungu will go to jail if he continues to undermine the authority of acting President Guy Scott, Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo has warned.
And Acting president Guy Scott has refused to attend Lungu’s rally in Mongu today despite lies by Inonge Wina that the acting president is supporting Lungu.
Lungu and foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba on Wednesday sneaked out of the country to meet SADC chairperson and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, without permission from acting President Dr Scott.
According to the Post newspaper, Masebo, who is former tourism minister, said it was unprecedented for a Cabinet minister to travel out of the country and meet a foreign head of state without the permission of the President.
“Edgar and his people will go to jail if they continue with this. They cannot continue to undermine the authority of the President in this manner and get away with it. If another party forms government, Edgar will certainly go to jail. He will not be able to explain the use of government resources for these trips,” Masebo said.
“It has never happened in the history of this country that a minister can leave the country and meet a foreign president without informing the Republican President. Even chiefs have the courtesy of informing the President when they are traveling out so that government can get involved once they have an emergency. What he (Edgar) is doing is very dangerous for the country and is a national risk, especially that he is defence minister.”
Masebo said Lungu breached the ministerial code of conduct.
“This was not a party matter; they travelled as ministers to go and bad-mouth their President. That is why the High Commissioner [Ndiyoyi Mutiti] went to welcome them. Where have you seen a party official being welcomed by the High Commissioner? Edgar has caused a diplomatic and international blunder; and frankly speaking, President Mugabe should not have given him audience,” she said.
Masebo said Lungu was slowly taking over the Presidency from Dr Scott.
“Dr Scott is still the President of the country and we can also safely say that he is still the party president until the Supreme Court rules on Monday. But Edgar thinks he is a president of the party and of the country now. You can see that slowly he is usurping power away from the acting President. Now suppose the Supreme Court on Monday stops him, what is he going to do?” she wondered.
Masebo said Lungu’s behaviour was an indication that he was a political amateur, who could not be entrusted with the responsibility of running the country.
“He is a political amateur and this behaviour shows you that these guys will just plunge our country into total chaos,” she said.
And Masebo said Lungu had summoned all district commissioners in Western Province to welcome him when he travels to Mongu for campaigns today.
“We are aware that he has instructed all the DCs to travel to Mongu to welcome him at the airport. This is illegal because he is not the President and he is not travelling as a minister. In fact, this is against the memo that acting President Scott has written to all ministers, stopping them from using government resources during this campaign period. Dr Scott has clearly told all the government officials that he does not want to raise audit queries after these campaigns,” said Masebo.
Meanwhile, Lungu has instructed Inspector General of Police, Stella Libongani, to
provide him with personal security when he travels to Mongu today.
The instructions were issued to Libongani through home affairs minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula.
“There was a request from the Minister of Defence that he needed security because he’s going there as a political candidate and they have been given three officer under State House. The officers are Superintendent Mushitu, man number 2629, Assistant Superintendent Fulilwa, man number 7211 and D/Sergeant Sichombwe. All these are from State House except for Mushitu, who was removed by late president Michael Sata,” sources said.
Sources said Lungu had requested for a meeting with members of the Provincial Joint Operations Committee (PJOC) while in Mongu.
“Officers don’t know what to do because Hon Lungu is going to campaign and not on official duty… and he wants security provided to him wherever he will go,” said sources.
The police command had withdrawn officers deployed to provide security at the PF rally after learning that acting President Dr Scott would not be in attendance.