ANDREW Banda has advised President Edgar Lungu to swallow his pride and take people’s advice on national issues rather than only listening to people that are ill-advising him.
And Andrew has challenged Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda to denounce violence in the country the way they did to matters relating to mining in Lower Zambezi National Park.
In an interview, Andrew said President Lungu must not listen to people, who have an interest to serve because when the time of reckoning comes, he would be left alone.
“For the sake of the country and for his sake, President Lungu must swallow his pride; he must be real and not listen to people who are ill-advising him. He should put Zambia first and not to listen to people that have an interest to serve. When the time of reckoning comes, they will be the same persons that will run away from him. Some of us have seen it all, I am talking as a politician and as a son of a former head of state [Rupiah Banda] and who has been in politics for 30 years,” he said.
Andrew said Zambia was at its worst since independence.
“This is the worst this country has gone since independence both politically and economically. It is not at its best in-terms of fundamentals on the ground. If this dialogue works, credit will still be given to President Edgar Lungu, the President in this country is a very powerful man, very powerful institution,” he said.
Andrew appealed to the two former heads of state to ensure that they facilitate a dialogue between President Lungu and UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
“These are statesmen, they have experience and they can see what we are seeing. If I can see it, what about them? They have influence on both Lungu and HH. What does it take to bring them together genuinely? But by keeping quiet, it’s like they are condoning it, it’s like they are quite happy with it. What does it take to bring Lungu and Hakainde together? If Dr Kaunda was to call them to say ‘you come and I want to meet both of you at the same time’, these two will jump,” he said.
Andrew said paramount chiefs could also play a role in bringing President Lungu and Hichilema together to unite the country.
“We have to unite this country because it is polarised now. The church, the Catholic Church and I am not talking about these churches that have an interest to serve, I am talking about traditional churches that are serious. Look at the Catholic Church; it is coming out very strongly. The media should also come on board,” he said.
Andrew said the impression that people were getting over the violence was that the State was protecting the perpetrators because they seemed to be gaining something from it.
“Now in the same manner that Dr Kaunda and fourth Republican president [Banda] have come out on the Lower Zambezi (issue), they have come out very well that the Lower Zambezi must not be interfered with and it is only the President who can stop what is supposed to take place in the Lower Zambezi. As much as former president Kaunda and the fourth Republican president have commented on the Lower Zambezi, we want them to comment on the issue of violence and among other terrible issues is the enforcement of the public order Act which stops opposition parties from interacting with the community,” he said.
Andrew said the PF would not have been in office if the MMD government did not allow them to be going round the country.
“Mr Sata lost elections three times and each time he lost, the following day he was on the ground campaigning, nobody stopped him. If Dr Kaunda did not allow the MMD to be going round the country, the MMD wouldn’t have been in power. This issue of blocking opposition parties from holding meetings is another way of rigging elections. Rigging is not just manipulating figures; rigging is also about intimidating other people. They (PF) are going all over the country, meeting people but they are blocking their colleagues,” he said.
Andrew said President Lungu was the only person who can stop violence like what late president Levy Mwanawasa did.