- PeP President, Sean Tembo said by seeking to petition Mr Lungu’s candidature on flimsy grounds, the UPND and its allies would be digging a hole for themselves.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
UPND-affiliated activists such as lawyer Mr John Sangwa and Mr MacDonald Chipenzi are misleading their gullible followers with their shallow arguments over President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility which the Constitutional Court had already dealt with, the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) has said.
PeP President, Sean Tembo said by seeking to petition Mr Lungu’s candidature on flimsy grounds, the UPND and its allies would be digging a hole for themselves.
He warned yesterday that the greatest potential source of conflict that may cause anarchy as the country heads for the August 12 elections is the planned petitioning of President Lungu’s candidature.
He advised the UPND and lawyer, Mr Sangwa, to re-think their plan because it was a recipe of conflict which would boomerang against them.
“Well, if the UPND affiliated activists like John Sangwa decided to proceed to petition the candidature of Mr Lungu after filing his nomination, what will happen is that the petition will be thrown out faster than quickly, with costs. But it will not end there, the PF will obviously retaliate by also petitioning the candidature of Mr Hichilema, for whatever flimsy reason.
“The only difference is that whereas the petition against Mr Lungu will be dealt with expeditiously, the one against Mr Hichilema will not. That is politics 101. At the end of the day, the UPND is likely to find themselves without a presidential candidate barely weeks before the polling day. This will cause panic, chaos and conflict. And there is really no sure way of compelling a Court to expeditiously adjudicate on a matter,” he said.
He sympathised with the UPND supporters who he described as gullible blind followers for having been misled that President Lungu was not eligible to stand again this year because the Constitutional Court only ruled on the fact that his initial one year and eight months at the presidency did not amount to a term of office as provided for by the Constitution.
“You see, petitioning Mr Lungu’s candidature may appear like a brilliant idea in the eyes of Mr Lungu’s foes, but trust me, it is a bad idea in more ways than one.
“For starters, the judgement of the ConCourt in the Dan Pule case is very loud and clear; that the one year eight months that Mr Lungu served as President from 2015 to 2016 does not amount to a term as defined in the constitution. That was the ruling of the Court,” Mr Tembo said.
Mr Tembo said President Lungu has only served for one term of office as ruled by the Court, which made him eligible for a second term.
“The Court did not really have to expressly state that in its ruling. It is like two boxers are fighting in the ring and at the end of the match, the referee declares boxer A as the winner and says nothing about boxer B.
“It does not make sense for boxer B to argue that he did not lose the fight because the referee did not expressly declare him as a loser! That’s the quality of argument that Mr Sangwa and Mr Chipenzi are making,” he said.
Mr Tembo advised the UPND leaders to stop deceiving themselves that the Constitutional Court could turn around and rule against Mr Lungu’s candidature