STATEMENT OF THE INTERIM PRESIDENT FOR PATRIOTS FOR ECONOMIC PROGRESS (PEP) ON THE RE-ELECTION OF PRESIDENT LUNGU AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
1. Country men and women, first and foremost l would like to offer my profound and hearty congratulations to the people of Zambia for having participated in the just ended general elections in large numbers and having cast their votes in a peaceful manner. To all of you and to myself, l say well done!
2. As for the winner of this just ended election, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, l believe that it would be too early and premature to offer any congratulations at this juncture as the electoral process is not yet over unless and until the winner is inaugurated and sworn into office. When and if such a time comes, then we will offer our profound and heart felt congratulations to the then newly elected President of the Republic.
3. Our position above is informed by our desire not to be hypocritical by rushing to congratulate the President-Elect now and in the event of a successful electoral petition by any of the loosing presidential candidates, we then quickly start congratulating the successful petitioner and start saying how we knew all this time that the election of the president would not stand the scrutiny of the Constitutional Court. We know for sure that in the event of a successful electoral petition, such would be the U-turn that most of those out there who have been quick to offer their congratulations would make.
4. We in the Patriots for Economic Progress do not intend to fall into the existing bandwagon of opposition political parties whose sole purpose for taking part in a Presidential Election is to quickly accept defeat and be widely quoted by the media as they declare the just ended polls as EXTREMELY free and fair, as we have already witnessed on public media so far. For starters, from a grammatical point of view, neither free nor fair are relative terms. That means there is no such thing as a bit free or a bit fair and neither is there any such thing as extremely free or extremely fair. Something is either free or not free and it is either fair or not fair.
5. The fact that we in the Patriots for Economic Progress do not intend to fall in the existing bandwagon of hypocritical opposition political parties does not mean that we intend to oppose anything and everything that the government of the day does. In fact, we believe that hypocrisy in terms of an opposition political party is two faced and is not only defined by the desire to agree with every position that the government of the day takes but is also defined by the desire to oppose any and all positions taken by the government of the day. To this effect, we intend to be one of the most objective opposition political parties that this country has ever had.
6. We will vehemently oppose any position taken by the government of the day which we feel is not in the best interests of the Zambian people with as much zeal and pomposity as we shall support any position taken by the government of the day which we believe is in the best interests of the Zambian people. In other words, our moral campus shall be guided by what we believe are the needs and aspirations of the citizens of this republic, the most fundamental of which is economic emancipation. For what does it benefit a man to enjoy his conventional liberties when he is incarcerated in the prison of abject poverty the way the majority of our citizens currently are?
7. As much as we applaud the political atmosphere during elections as having been peaceful, we have not forgotten that the political atmosphere before elections was characterized by unprecedented political violence such as we have never experienced in the history of this country except perhaps during the days of Cha Cha Cha, when we were fighting for independence from our colonial masters. Naturally, it is difficult if not outrightly impossible to allocate blame of who was responsible for the majority of this political violence; the ruling party or the opposition. In our considered opinion, such allocation of blame is neither necessary nor productive to the discourse at hand. What is relevant however is the fact that the incumbent President allowed this political violence to take place, either deliberately or by virtue of his incompetence to stop it. Going forward however, we hope that this country will revert to the rule of law where the law applies equally to all citizens and no grouping of citizens is seen to be above the law.
8. Given the fallibility of life where our days on this planet are definitely numbered, the responsibility of each and everyone of us should be to try and do those things that will leave this our country a better place for our children and our children’s children, than we found it when we were born. Unless of course anyone of us out there does not believe in the fallibility of their own lives, that they believe they are immortal. For those who believe that they are immortal, am afraid l do not have the capacity to offer any counsel to you.
9. As soon as the electoral process is completed and a President has been inaugurated, the time will be ripe for us in the Patriots for Economic Progress to offer our profound and hearty congratulations to the new Republican President. But not only are we going to congratulate the new Republican President, we are also going to outline to him in very clear terms, what our expectations from him shall be. We shall also outline to him very clearly that we shall hold him accountable all the way to 2021. Our resolve to hold the government of the day accountable can only be paralleled to our desire to be objective while doing so. Our true loyalty shall and will at all times lie with the people of this our great country, Zambia.
10. The above notwithstanding, we look forward to the next phase for our country as a leader takes over the reigns for the next 5 years. We can only hope that after the electoral process is over, we are all going to unite as Zambians and chart a common destiny for this our great country. That we are going to enhance our bonds of brotherhood regardless of our regions of origin or tribe or accent or any other form of segregation that might exist. We are after all One Zambia One Nation.
Your Fellow Citizen
PATRIOTS FOR ECONOMIC PROGRESS (PEP)