By NATION REPORTER
FORMER president Edgar Lungu seems to have become such a threat to the UPND that they have developed such a profane phobia that they wish they could have him completely confined and gagged from commenting on any national matter, Harry Kalaba has said.
And Raphael Nakacinda says former President Lungu has been uniquely magnanimous to allow President Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND to govern without any form interference by keeping away from politics and the maladministration that have become characteristic under them.
Mr Kalaba, the president of Citizen’s First Party says it is surprising that each time former President Lungu appeared in public, the UPND were politically convulsing and quivering with knee-jerk reactions.
Mr Kalaba said the behaviour by the UPND attacking former President Lungu for only asking the price of mealie meal and rice was uncalled for and an act of inadequacy on the part of the governing party.
Last week, the UPND attempted to gag Mr Lungu by banning his from making public appearances, claiming that the former head of State was throwing political innuendoes at his successor, President Hichilema.
On Monday, the UPND secretary general, Batuke Imenda claimed former President Lungu was shadow-boxing with President Hichilema and should therefore come out and declare himself politically active.
But Mr Kalaba said he did not see anything wrong with Mr Lungu making public appearances and commenting on national matters such as the prices of commodities like mealie meal.
“The UPND should leave President Lungu alone to enjoy his retirement. Former President Lungu is a Zambian, a citizen with all the rights. Who told the UPND that when you retire from politics, then you lose your rights to comment on national matters? It seems the UPND are so scared about former President Lungu because of their monumental failure to gover…otherwise they would not be suffering from Lungu-phobia. Let them accept that when one retires, it does not mean he cannot give an opinion on the governance of the country,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba advised that the UPND leadership should stop the vengeance, hatred, retribution and vindictiveness and concentrate on delivering on the promises they had made to Zambians.
He said former President Lungu did not commit any crime by asking how much mealie meal was costing and wondered why the UPND leadership was seeing innuendoes in such an innocent inquiry.
“The former President is not under house arrest. He is not in Lamara where Yasser Arafat was under house arrest. Let the UPND leave Mr Lungu alone to enjoy his retirement,” Mr Kalaba said.
And Mr Nakacinda said the phobia that the UPND were exhibiting each time former President Lungu appeared in public was worrying because the former head of State was not under house arrest.
Mr Nakacinda advised UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda to censure himself when issuing statements about the former president because they are not on the same level.
“A mature politician should be able to gauge the level of the person they are talking to and the issues they are labeling against him,” he said.
He said Mr Lungu was at liberty to engage the members of the public especially that he runs a foundation and various organizations go to him for wisdom on how society should be governed.
Mr Nakacinda said the UPND should be at peace because the only defense they have for now was to fulfil the promises they made to the people of Zambia.