HAKAINDE Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu must first fix what he has destroyed in the country before crying for a third term of office he will never have.
President Lungu last Thursday said there would be chaos in the country should the Constitutional Court decide to rule against him in his 2021 eligibility case.
He insisted he has the right to contest the presidency in 2021 if the Patriotic Front adopts him.
President Lungu said whether or not he was eligible to stand in 2021 should not be dependent on imitating the rulings of the Kenyan courts.
Article 106(3) of the Republican Constitution states that, “A person who has twice held office as President is not eligible for election as President” while Article 106 (6) explains that a Vice-President, or another person who assumes the presidency due to a by-election, will not be deemed to have held office if they have served as President for less than three years before the date of the next general election.
But the provision in Article 106(6) does not apply to President Lungu because he never took office as Sata’s running mate or vice-president as stated in Article 106(5) of the Republican Constitution.
“Lungu must start mending the divisions and hatred he has brought in our Country before crying for a third term which will never come because the law is clear, it does not allow him to go on and on, and even Zambians will not allow him to continue inflicting pain on us. His attacks and launch of a third term is a project in futility and he must in fact start planning of how he will live after State House, how many friends he will have both locally and outside and actually including in the PF, a party he has abused,” Hichilema said in an interview yesterday.
The UPND leader called on Zambians to unite and not allow President Lungu to “push his luck too far” by forcing himself on Zambians for a third time, which was unconstitutional.
“Lungu must instead realise that Zambia is a democratic country with a binding Constitution and dictatorial plans to force himself on the people will not only leave him in shock but haunted for the rest of his life and as such, I am strongly warning him that if he wants to end with respect, he should respect the law but if he wants to go down as a shameless dictator, Zambians will do just that to him. He has been forcing himself on the people for too long and his utterances that whether the constitution and law says this is his last term, he will defy and contest, he is digging his own grave. In fact, as Hakainde, I have no issues meeting him on another ballot whether today or tomorrow because the country is with us and believes in our policies. Unfortunately, the law, our country’s constitution, does not allow him to go for a third term, so he must just pack and go, kwapwa, kwasila, kwamana,” Hichilema said.
He said history was seemingly repeating itself but that this time, it will even be harsher on President Lungu.
“I call on marketeers suffering, the students who have no bursaries, no jobs and even freedom fighters, to say no to Lungu’s cry for a third term because the constitution does not allow him, say no to his continued abrogation of our country’s constitution…let us all stand up and stop Lungu from turning our country into a one party state, stop Lungu from crying for a third term, he has already damaged our democracy and we cannot allow him to continue, this time around like ever before, the law does not allow him to force himself on us,” said Hichilema who last week during his Chatham House presentation in London said democracy in Zambia was under threat and that President Lungu had no respect for democracy and human rights.