CHISHIMBA Kambwili says unless it is out of this world, in Jupiter or Mars, President Edgar Lungu is not eligible to contest the 2021 general elections a third time. And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says citizens need to stand together when governance institutions are turned against them. Hichilema, his vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and UPND mobilisation chairperson Sylvia Masebo paid a courtesy on Kambwili at his residence in Lusaka following his detention and arrest last week.
“Welcome from the dingy,” Hichilema remarked, upon seeing Kambwili.
Kambwili recounted to Hichilema and Mwamba how tense the situation was at Luanshya Central Police where police conveyed him from Lusaka and arrested him last week on Thursday.
“You may be aware that my brother, president of the UPND, did indicate to the nation that he was going to come to Luanshya to escort me,” Kambwili said.
“But you saw that we were ambushed and so, that was not possible. Because of that, they decided that they come to my home to pay a courtesy call and just to encourage me to be strong. On behalf of the NDC, I want to say thank you very much, HH.”
Kambwili and Hichilema held a closed-door meeting and afterwards addressed waiting journalists.
Asked if the opposition was ready to face President Lungu if the Constitutional Court ruled that he qualified to contest a third time in 2021, Kambwili wondered how the President’s third attempt at the Republican presidency could be nodded by the ConCourt.
The ConCourt is expected to deliver judgment in the matter tomorrow.
“We have had opinions from the lawyers who matter in this country. Judges are appointed from among the lawyers…. They (some lawyers) have said he is not eligible! So, how is he going to be eligible? Unless it is out of this world, it is in Jupiter or Mars; the truth of the matter [is that] the man does not qualify,” Kambwili said.
“I’m becoming suspicious; yesterday (on Tuesday) Amos [Chanda said] the President is ready for whatever outcome. We are not ready ourselves [for whatever outcome!] We are only ready for the fact that the man does not qualify. That’s our position.”
Kambwili reiterated that Zambia had turned into a police State where any citizen who dared to speak against the Chinese in Zambia became an enemy of the State.
He also disclosed that one of the issues he discussed in the closed-door meeting with Hichilema was the issue of “the K32,000 that ministers have given themselves, way above the nine per cent that was given to all civil servants.”
And Hichilema said: “We are beginning to see that our people’s institutions are being used against the owners.”
“We must bring this to an end!” said Hichilema. “We have agreed that the illegal increment for the ministers…we will take it forward together with other aspects that have been left unattended to for too long. To stop this new allowance, we are asking those we believe are genuine opposition and agree that we must work together, must start on this matter. Our joint teams will notify the police that we want to express our freedom of expression by having a peaceful demonstration.”
Meanwhile, when asked what the way forward could be in an event that the planned demonstration was not granted by the police, Kambwili answered: “We will go to court.”
“We will make an appeal to the Minister [of Home Affairs.] If the minister doesn’t respond in the positive, we will go to court. We are not going to let PF abuse their authority with impunity. This time we are ready to go all the way. If it means going to heaven to get a police permit, we will go to heaven!” emphasised Kambwili.