PF is not surprised by attacks and negative reactions to His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s resolve to re-affirm Zambia’s Christian nation declaration and other major faith-based pronouncements such as making 18th October as a public holiday for national prayers and constructing the State Cathedral to serve as an interdenominational house of prayer for the nation. The latest of these attacks from the self-proclaimed “anti-Prayer” Opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, claiming that President Edgar Lungu has invited three witchdoctors from Malawi to help him win the 2016 elections are nonsensical, sensational, cheapest and childish propaganda. The people of Zambia know very well that Mr Hichilema, due to his arrogance and pride, openly defied the National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation in a nation where more than 90% of the population profess the Christian faith, and where even the founding President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and former President Mr Rupiah Banda where in attendance. The people of Zambia and the Church mother bodies have tested and known that President Lungu’s commitment to faith is not for purposes of window dressing as is the case with some Opposition leaders allergic to prayer.
As PF, we are fully aware that the statement by Mr. Hichilema is informed by his knowledge of a crushing electoral defeat awaiting him next year. It was just last week when he alleged that he had won the January 20th elections by a “small margin” which he has so far failed to quantify, claiming that we as PF robbed him of his votes. Not only is this ridiculous but laughable because despite the intra party instability and organizational challenges PF faced in the aftermath of President Sata’s death, Mr. Hichilema’s numbers were a result of the ‘Nega-Nega formula’, which was a vote along tribal lines. While President Lungu preaches national unity, love and reconciliation, Zambians have witnessed that even the voter registration in some areas is influenced by the same dynamics which informed the Nega-Nega formula, including reports of children under the age of 15 years being issued NRCs and registering as voters. Such desperation is despicable! But we can assure Mr. Hichilema that even with his tribally inclined voter-turn-out, he is losing the 2016 elections. We challenge him to concede defeat because PF does not even need to go to the extent of importing witchdoctors to win the 2016 elections. Our works will speak in the 2016 election contrary to Mr. Hichilema’s fears that witchdoctors are coming to hypnotize voters across the country.
PF therefore wishes to advise that President Lungu has no time to respond to childish, stupid and malicious allegations such as the “importation of witchdoctors” as he has more worthy causes to respond to. We ask Mr. Hichilema to fine tune his faith and bring it in sync with the God the majority Zambian Christians prayed and fasted to on 18th October 2015, and to whom President Lungu has dedicated the building of a National House of Prayer for all denominations. We also challenge Mr. Hichilema to state his Party’s position on the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation. Further, we challenge him to tell Zambians what his personal and UPND’s stance is regarding homosexuality.
While Mr. Hichilema’s UPND has failed to provide Zambians with an alternative development path, apart from policy statements drafted by his image builders, PF and President Lungu have shown a clear sense of direction as confirmed by the Head of State’s transformative address to Parliament and the 2016 Budget. Mr. Hichilema thinks the energy deficit and weak Kwacha is here to stay and on that premise, Zambians can rise against a democratically elected government of the people. While he prays that mealie meal prices skyrocket, Zambians know that the ‘abnormal’ hiking of essential goods is the work of the cartel which has been formed among traders. While Mr. Hichilema and his colleagues in the Opposition will be offering lip-service to the electorate, Zambians will judge President Lungu and PF on the visible works such as roads, hospitals, schools and a rebounding economy. On this score, we can inform Mr. Hichilema that President Lungu’s Government has put in place measures that would stabilize the Kwacha and also support the economy. Further, Government is working at diversifying from mining by developing other key sectors with significant potential such as agriculture to contribute to Zambia’s economic development.
Lastly, Mr. Hichilema has no moral grounds to question President Lungu’s commitment to God and prayer. He must be the last person to undermine National prayer and fasting by reducing them to a clash between the Police and Copperbelt University (CBU) students. He alleges that President Lungu is using God’s name in vain, but we also seek to challenge his religious principle by asking him to tell Zambians the name of his god. Unlike Mr. Hichilema who uses Christianity gatherings for window-dressing purposes, President Lungu is using his faith to reconcile, unite and heal the nation. While President Lungu’s government remains committed to improving education standards and welfare of students in the country, UPND would rather they continue using innocent students as human shields by placing them in harm’s way.
Issued By: Sunday Chanda, Vice Chairperson, PF Media and Publicity Committee