Some time in 2016/17 President Lungu went to Chibombo to commission some infrastructural projects after which he addressed some marketeers at the famous JC roadside market saying ‘makamaka imwe, you voted us out but we didn’t leave. Even if you vote us out again we won’t leave’.
What exactly was the President saying then? Some people took the President’s words literally. Others argued and tried to explain that the President meant to tell those bewildered marketeers at Chibombo that even if they don’t vote for him, he would still win. They went on to lampoon those that argued otherwise as being desperate opportunists who were trying to twist the President’s word’s to suit their own agenda.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. President Lungu was in Solwezi where he told the people of North western province that ‘even if North western does not give me votes in 2021, I will wait for their votes in 2026’. Just how possible can this be? If it was a slip of the tongue, what kind of a slip was that?!
Our constitution says a person can only be sworn in as President two times. So how can a person who has already been sworn in two times be available to receive votes from North western in 2026, before we even talk about 2021? It boggles the mind!
Now we know there is a judgment of the Concourt which tried to define the presidential term. But that judgment does not categorically state that Edgar Chagwa Lungu is illegible to stand again in 2021.
During his five day marathon campaign in the current Chilubi by-election President Lungu told the people of Chilubi saying ‘its up to you to re-elect me. But if you decide to change, you won’t succeed’. Simply jaw dropping!! What exactly does this mean? Is President Lungu saying he will continue being president whether the people want or not? And if so, how?!
For us the best way to interpret someone’s words is to take them literally. It’s up to that person to explain him or herself. So in this regard, these statements from the President do sound as if the President is undermining the rule of law in general and the constitution specifically. And we wonder how the ECZ feels when they hear such statements from the President.
Of course it’s impossible for one to impose him or herself on people who don’t want to be lead by that person. Whether the person is the best democrat or worst dictator ever, if the people don’t want, then the people don’t want. The only risk that this line of thought and speech bears is to undermine institutions of governance especially the ECZ and the presidency and could eventually lead to anarchy.
Zambia Political Blog.