MMD National Executive Committee Chairperson-Energy, Tobias Kafumukache says President Edgar Lungu’s statement is meant to prepare his opponents that are trying to undermine his legitimacy to contest in 2021.
The MMD NEC member says the party supports President Edgar Lungu and that he has sent a message to people intending on challenging him to ‘merely’ brace themselves.
Kafumukache says all, President Edgar Lungu, has done is clarify the debate on his eligibility to stand in the 2021 elections adding that, the head of state is entitled to a third term.
President Edgar Lungu ascended to office in 2015, following the demise of PF founder and President Michael Chilufya Sata in 2014. President Lungu, served 1 year and 8 months from 2015 to 2016 when Zambia went to the polls.
“Of course in the first place, there was debate in some sections of society where they were insinuating that President Edgar Lungu was not eligible to stand. And also, there were some people that said he couldn’t stand. But under the amended constitution, it’s clear that one can only be considered to have served a term after completing three years but the current President didn’t complete three years. He actually completed a year and 8 months. So that means that, that term, can not be counted. So he is entitled to a third term, through two terms of presidency,” Kafumukache says.
Kafumukache says the MMD will either support it’s own candidate in 2021, the PF’s candidate or another party’s candidate only after going for a convention in 2020.
“So now, his reaction today, he just responded to the debates that have been going round in these circles to prepare grounds and also to prepare his opponents that are trying to undermine his legitimacy to contest. But for us in the Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) we are not so much concerned with the issues of the president whether he wants to stand in 2021. The way we sat down in the 2016 election. We agreed on terms on what we were to do during elections, is the same way we shall sit down to agree when that time comes,” says Kafumukache.
Kafumukache who recently contested in as MMD parliamentary candidate in Kasempa in the past year’s elections, says that the party is so far happy with the way it’s ‘alliance’ partner is managing affairs in the country.
He says the MMD reign was characterized with a booming economy, and that he sees that happening the current government as they are sharing ideas.
“We have an input in the 2017 budget. And so far, we are working well as a team. And we as MMD are bringing to the table some precious experience. They are learning from us as you know we had been in power for 20 years ,and we are learning a lot from them. We see the economy booming in the next few years because of the unity the two parties are enjoying,” he says.
He says people should allow President Edgar Lungu to work and stop cheap politicking.
“And for the 2016 one, what we decided was to support the presidency of Edgar Lungu. So until that time comes in 2020 that’s when the party will speak again. When time for the convention comes, we shall decide whether to feature a candidate or to support the candidature of another person in another political party. But for now, people must allow President Edgar Lungu to work. Cheap politics will not take us anywhere,” he says.
Kafumukache adds that, ” The President I don’t think he has made a declaration, the president has just made a clarification. What the President has done is a clarification on his eligibility and that clarification is to state that he is eligible to stand. That he is still qualifying to stand in the 2021 election. He has just clarified that is if he so wishes, he can stand. So am in support of the clarification of the president because it was sending a message to those who want to challenge him, and just for them to equip themselves to challenge him if they can. It also clears the platform and perimeters upon how people will view the current presidency of the republic of Zambia. It grants citizens and political players perimeters on how they will engage the presidency of Edgar Lungu.”