NASON Msoni says as the issue of the third attempt at the Republican presidency persists, President Edgar Lungu has two choices; either to flee Zambia or to stay around and attempt to circumvent the Republican Constitution.
He also charges that: “Mr Lungu’s third attempt at the presidency is about avoiding the possibility of going to prison” because of his misdeeds during his six years plus reign.
Msoni is the president of the All People’s Congress (APC).
He accused President Lungu of holding the PF hostage on account of his huge amounts of money.
On Saturday, PF secretary general Davies Mwila announced that the central committee of the ruling party had endorsed Lungu as the party’s sole presidential candidate.
“Mr Lungu’s options are quickly shrinking, leaving him with only two plausible options that he thinks he can use in order to escape liability, arising out of his conduct whilst in government. The two options that Mr Lungu has are 1. to flee the country, which is, in essence, an effort of last resort – if he fails to crack his way through to get a third term,” Msoni said in an interview. “His choices are struck to two; either he flees Zambia or he stays around and attempts to circumvent the Constitution. He is going to test the waters by attempting to circumvent the Constitution.”
He said President Lungu wants to prolong his stay in government by “sitting on the things that he has committed.”
“He knows very well that for the things he has committed, the only atonement is going to prison,” Msoni said. “So, Mr Lungu’s third attempt at the presidency is about avoiding the possibility of going to prison.”
He, however, explained that an attempt by President Lungu to contest for the Republican presidency, for a third time, fell squarely on the shoulders of those who were mandated to protect the Constitution of Zambia.
“A civilian is trying to circumvent the Constitution for his own selfish benefits. Now, that is a matter of those whose responsibility is to protect the Constitution of Zambia,” he noted. “There is nowhere in that judgment that came from the Constitutional Court where it addressed the question of eligibility of Mr Lungu, save for an interpretation of what constituted a term.”
Msoni added that: “needless for me to state, the Constitution remains the supreme law of the land.”
He stressed that no other document, no matter what it was, could override the supremacy of the Constitution of Zambia.
“The Constitution is very clear; if you have held the Office of President twice, you are ineligible to contest. So, Mr Lungu cannot shoot his way out into eligibility,” he said. “We recognise that he has procured a lot of police and military equipment. But he will not shoot himself through a third term of office.”
He cautioned Zambians to remain vigilant and not to be part of wrongdoing.
“If Mr Lungu manages to circumvent the Constitution, there will be no Constitution to refer to. We all would have lost out!”
“If a third term was barred for Mr Chiluba, so should a third term be barred for Mr Lungu. Nothing is so special about Mr Lungu. If anything, Mr Chiluba was more competent than Mr Lungu.”
He charged that President Lungu had no arguable basis upon which he could remain the President.
“He has been the most incompetent person Zambia has ever had as a President. He cannot be allowed to hold the country hostage for his own past misdeeds whilst in office,” Msoni said. “He knows very well, as a man, as a grown up, that he does not qualify. But nonetheless, he is pushing it, he is tempting Zambians into disloyalty. He is trying it on the PF, and he is holding the PF hostage on account of money.”
He continued, saying: “all these people who are singing in favour of his eligibility are hinging on his continuing in government for them to have access to resources.”
“Out of desperation, Mr Lungu is churning out a lot of money. That’s the reason the PF ticket is attracting more applications, than any other political party – it is because of the money that is available,” Msoni noted. “The idea of the money is for Mr Lungu to try and wangle out a victory by bribing and buying his way. To the contrary, it’s not that the PF ticket is popular. No!”
He further indicated that every local government and parliamentary aspirant is cognisant of the fact that out of President Lungu’s political desperation, he could avail anything to seek re-election.
“So, everybody is trying to take advantage of the PF umbrella to make their way into Parliament or the councils. The easiest ride you can use now is the PF ticket because it’s well lubricated,” noted Msoni. “Even in an event that you lose as an MP, as a councillor, you’ll remain with change and you would have lost nothing, unlike on the opposition political parties’ ticket. Whoever will be adopted on the PF ticket, resources will not be one of their problems. Their problem will be electability; whether they are electable or not.”