IT’S very childish and immature for President Edgar Lungu to mock Zambians over his careless travels, says Patrick Mucheleka.
Addressing a public meeting at Musakanya market in Mpika last Sunday, President Lungu said his duty was to visit people and check on various projects the ruling party was undertaking across the nation.
“Balefwaya bakandeshe ukuti nilaenda pakuti mpwalale bakese mpoka amaka! Ala ngata mulebomba nakulaisa nemwine (they want to stop me from travelling so that I nap and they grab power from me! If you are not working, I will be coming on my own to see how things are moving),” President Lungu assured the crowd. “Nakula enda apondefwaila; uwo cakalipa ati President aleenda enda sana lwakwe pantu ukwenda encito yandi (I will be travelling whenever I feel like. Anyone who feels offended it his or her own problem because my duty is to move from place to place).”
But Mucheleka said President Lungu’s statement lacked maturity and respect for Zambians who he represented.
He said President Lungu should realise that those asking him to cut down on trips were taxpayers whose money he was abusing through meaningless travels.
“When you are President, it’s expected that you should act and behave as the office demands. That statement in Mpika showed no maturity. Who was he telling ati oyo chikalipa lwakwe [that whoever is troubled it’s his or her fault)? Zambians have a right to talk about how their money is being spent,” Mucheleka, a UPND member, said.
“The President must not start mocking Zambians and those that are against his careless travels. The statement was careless, that’s not a pleasing statement, especially under such harsh economic times. Zambia needs prudent managers and the President himself must be the one to take the lead in seeing that the meagre resources under his care are managed well but not mocking Zambians who are worried about the abuse.”
He reminded President Lungu that the money he was abusing was not his but for Zambians hence it was justified for them to talk about how it was being used.
“His outbursts in Mpika clearly show immaturity of the worst kind. When you are President, you need to act sober; that office he occupies brings with it a certain type of behaviour. He should begin to show leadership and not say whatever comes to his mind,” said Mucheleka.
“We are talking about his aimless travels because he is using our money, that’s not his money or PF’s. Even when they spend that money carelessly, they are doing so in my name as a Zambian. We have all the right to question his movements because he is using money that could help alleviate poverty. My voice must be heard but he should not make careless statements. Was he travelling before he became president?”