We appreciate the role General Olusegun Obasanjo is trying to play as an elderly African statesman in discussing the political developments in Zambia. Sometimes, however, we feel he is trying too much, especially when it comes to the seemingly hapless but nevertheless reckless comments he keeps [on] making regarding the on-going trial of Hakainde Hichilema,
said Mumbi on Saturday in a statement issued by PF media director Sunday Chanda.
“In a bid to be relevant and to continue getting paid, Mr Obasanjo has been making all manner of poisonous statements on Zambia. If you were not in Zambia today, you would think the serene southern African nation was on fire based on the inflammatory statements coming out of Mr Obasanjo…”
But Msoni, the All People’s Congress (APC) president, said it was unbecoming for the PF rank and file to launch an onslaught on an elderly African statesman like Obasanjo.
[The] impertinence of Lungu is tarnishing the image of Zambia. The persistent attacks on former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is unfortunate and unjustifiably wrong. The elder statesman deserves respect and cannot be subjected to abuse and shallow criticism from low-ranking PF minions sanctioned by President Lungu,
He noted that the accusation against Obasanjo lacked logic.
“This is embarrassing to all concerned for a government to allege that the former Nigerian president has formed a cartel to tarnish the image of the Zambian government. This is really a shameful assertion lacking substance. It is a material fact that the Zambian government has arrested and charged UPND President Hakainde Hichilema with treason,” he said.
The former president’s comments are of concerns on the degenerating human rights record and the floundering of democratic credentials in Zambia under the leadership of President Lungu.
He insisted that Obasanjo’s concerns were legitimate and could not be trivialised by confusing them in what might have allegedly happened during his tenure as president in Nigeria.
It is undisputed that the former president has a solid background and strong credentials of leadership unmatched by far by President Lungu. His political profile speaks for him. Having taken power and handing it back to civilians puts him in good standing to comment on poor governance styles anywhere in Africa and beyond,
“Today, Zambia has been rendered into a police state. The government is spending huge sums of public money to meet police logistics than it is spending to procure drugs in hospitals.”