CHIEF Mukuni says President Edgar Lungu is conducting a corruption smokescreen to entrench himself ahead of 2021 elections.
He also thinks there would be an increase in attempts to stifle UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema so as to ensure that he does not contest the presidency in 2021
Mukuni said recent arrests were aimed at blocking anyone from Luapula contesting to be PF president.
The Anti-Corruption Commission recently arrested infrastructure minister Ronald Chototela for concealing two plots reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Chitotela and two others have since appeared in court but has not taken plea.
Last week, the Drug Enforcement Commission arrested former Zambia Air Force commander Eric Chimese, also from Luapula.
“The arrest is just a smokescreen to stop people from seeing the true intentions of the leadership of President Edgar Lungu. This is actually an act of stopping the Luapula boys from attempting to take over the PF presidency. Nothing else, it is meant to take the Luapula boys out of the presidency league,” he said.
He added that the perceived fight against corruption by President Lungu was not well intended as he was just interested in securing his presidential bid for 2021.
“The reason of not firing Chitotela is to ensure that in case he attempts to contest against Lungu at the PF convention, wherever it will be held, he will be told that he is not eligible as he was under investigations or before courts of law. So I see a lot more arrests of the Luapula boys or anyone perceived to be in support of Chitotela,” Mukuni said.
“I also see an increase in attempts to stifle UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema so as to ensure that he does not contest in 2021. But such plans are an ideal incubation for strife and bloodshed as the supporters of people like HH would not accept blocking him from contesting for the presidency.”
Mukuni further reminded the PF leadership that such attempts were tried against Michael Sata by MMD but failed.
He said attempts to use the privatisation scheme to stop Hichilema would not work.