NASON Msoni says asking President Edgar Lungu to account for his irregular accumulation of wealth beyond his emoluments does not amount to provocation that should prompt the Head of State to threaten to injure citizens with punches.
And Msoni says prospects of the Commonwealth-brokered talks should not drive opposition political parties in the country into a sleeping mode.
Upon arrival at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola on Saturday, President Lungu said people should not think that because he was Head of State he could not throw punches.
The President also cautioned that some individual should not dare him into a boxing ring because his punch would knock him out cold.
“I’m shocked to directly hear the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu make a specific threat to an unnamed citizen(s) with retribution and vengeance. As an entrusted custodian of legitimate instruments of State violence, I take this threat very seriously! Needless for us to remind him that he is under oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution and therefore unleashing violence on any citizen seriously breaches the terms and conditions under which he ought to operate. Asking him to account on his irregular accumulation of wealth beyond his emoluments does not amount to provocation. What citizens expect from him are answers to the questions posed. Citizens are still waiting for answers on the fraudulent purchase of fire engines!” Msoni, the All People’s Congress (APC) president, said in an interview.
He reminded President Lungu that no person, irrespective of their social status, had the right to deprive the life of another.
“In the circumstances, should any citizen(s) or leader get injured under any suspicious circumstances, he [President Lungu] shall be the first person or suspect to be held responsible in view of his threatening of violence and retribution publicly. For as long as theft and corruption continues unabated under Mr Lungu’s charge, citizens will continue to hold him to account and that cannot be said to be provocation,” Msoni noted.
He further observed that the diminished pressure on the government by “genuine political parties” in the country was upsetting.
“The transgressions being committed by the government of President Lungu are a wake-up call for change of tact and strategy if we (opposition political parties) are to be relevant. The prospects of Commonwealth talks should not dampen the zeal and commitment by the opposition political parties to continue to hold the PF regime accountable. Neither should the PF government blackmail the opposition on account of talks. It must be business as usual for the opposition,” Msoni explained.
And Msoni said Zambia was teetering on the brink of an economic disaster because the country had recklessly over-borrowed.
“The position taken by the IMF reaffirms what we have been advising this inept regime. The grounds under which the IMF rejects to grant Zambia a loan facility are justified. The IMF is on firm ground and this calls for more pressure from the opposition to compel this government to demonstrate the political will to deal with corruption and theft of public resources,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Msoni pointed out that the scaling-down of opposition political pressure on the regime had given leeway to the festering of white collar crime and open inducement of ministers to receive gratification without attracting censorship from the appointing authorities, thereby encouraging and tolerating corruption from ministers and contractors.
He added that President Lungu should stop mocking the 64 members of parliament who had petitioned the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini on the fraudulent purchase of fire engines and the “outright corrupt-fraught” contract to build the 321-kilometre Lusaka-Ndola dual-carriageway.
“Essentially, he should be substantially be examining his own conscience on why members of parliament thought to take the Zero Option route of petitioning the Speaker in trying to deal with his grand corruption in government. Truth be told, if in his judgment he feels that the action points to the low calibre of parliamentarians, then the opposite must be true that he is a President of a very low calibre indeed. That office he is occupying has never been brought any lower than he has unfortunately done in a short space of less than three years,” explained Msoni. “A President who runs away from taking responsibility of the wrongs committed by their government is unfit to hold office. Instead of mocking and pouring cold water on the petition and the petitioners in Parliament, he should be dealing with the substantive issues raised by the petitioners. In essence, this whole petition revolves and questions his own integrity! We urge him to deal with the substantive issues raised in the petition than the methodology employed [and] obviously, it must be embarrassing if he has any sense of shame.”