JACK Kalala says President Edgar Lungu believes Zambians are fools no wonder he can proclaim anything and expecting the population to believe it.
Kalala is distraught that President Lungu has a preference of interpreting situations and the law to suit his interests.
He wonders what kind of a lawyer the President is.
During his interaction with journalists at State House last Friday, President Lungu claimed that he was a champion and a leading player of democracy.
“Come 2021, am I the sole candidate? I’m just a sponsored candidate of PF and I cannot determine how PF wants to run its race to 2021. The central committee, the general conference are all organs of the PF. So, if the PF chooses to go this route or that route, I’m ready to play. I’m game, in short,” responded President Lungu, when asked if he was ready for the 2021 presidential vote.
“For me, I’m a democrat! How many times have I been fought by way of contestation? So many! I can say I’m a champion of democracy; I’m a leading player in democracy. So, we’ll go to the conference, if that will be the wish of the party. I’m game, in short.”
But Kalala, who was the special assistant to president Levy Mwanawasa for policy and project implementation and monitoring, challenged President Lungu that: “if he is indeed a democrat, he should allow HH (Hakainde Hichilema), Harry Kalaba, Chishimba Kambwili and others to campaign.”
“You see, the problem I find with President Lungu is that he interprets situations and the law to suit his interests. For example, when he says that the police are within the law to stop other people to campaign and that we should be working, himself is campaigning, his secretary general is campaigning and others in PF are campaigning. But the opposition should wait until the end! For him, that is democracy,” Kalala complained.
“They (opposition politicians) should not be constrained from campaigning. That’s what the law says.”
He argued that President Lungu could not be a democrat.
“If he is indeed a democrat, he should direct the police to stop harassing the opposition, as long as they meet the legal requirements to hold public meetings. He has stopped HH, Harry Kalaba to go to certain places. Is that fair? Is that how a democrat does things?” he wondered.
“In America, the Democrats are campaigning freely. Trump (a Republican) is not stopping them. The problem that is here is that President Lungu interprets situations and the law to suit himself.”
Kalala further asked why ‘democratic’ President Lungu ‘allowed’ the expulsion from the PF of presidential hopeful Kelvin Fube Bwalya, otherwise called KBF.
“If indeed he is a democrat, let KBF challenge him at the convention. He (President Lungu) wants to take the people of Zambia as fools, that whatever he says we are going to accept. No! We’ll not accept that,” Kalala said.
“He is fooling people by claiming that he is a democrat. If he is indeed a democrat and a Christian he claims to be, he should apologise to HH for false imprisonment on an imaginary treason offence in 2017.”
He stressed that being a democrat was not just about talking about it that ‘I’m a democrat’ when one could not even tolerate political opposition.
“President Mwanawasa allowed [Michael] Sata to campaign [at] any time…” Kalala recalled.
Meanwhile, on President Lungu’s ignorance on whether or not ministers who were deemed to have worked illegally while Parliament was dissolved in 2016 should pay every penny they got or just allowances, Kalala noted that the President’s argument was groundless.
“Even in the case of ministers who worked during that time, the court passed a judgment and you cannot be arguing with the judgment. It’s a straightforward thing; they must pay back. His argument that those people worked and so on and forth doesn’t hold any water,” explained Kalala.
“I wonder what law this man studied at school, whether he is indeed a lawyer! It’s like you illegally build a warehouse on someone’s plot and the court determines that you truly built there illegally; you’ll have no right to demolish that warehouse because the plot is not yours.”