Patriotic Front Media Director Sunday Chanda has said that opposition political parties are scared and panicking over President Edgar Lungu’s candidature for the 2021 general elections because they know that he will win without a doubt.

Mr Chanda said that a campaign by a consortium of opposition party leaders to discredit and stop President Lungu’s candidature, by appealing to the Patriotic Front (PF) Party to find an alternative candidate if it is to win the 2021 polls.

Mr. Chanda wondered why the Opposition political party leaders have become interested and supportive in ensuring PF’s assured electoral victory in 2021.

The PF Media Director further said this in a statement to media that if President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021 then the opposition should celebrate and not worry.

Mr. Chanda has wondered why the Opposition is spending so much sleepless nights and money to push for regime change within the PF, an act he says shows desperation.

Below is the full statement

OPPOSITION SCARED OF THE ECL CANDIDATURE; THEY ARE PANICKING!

On 16th December 2018, a consortium of leading opposition political parties called an Alliance agreed to work together to stop President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s 2021 candidature. These included UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema, ADD leader Charles Milupi, then National Restoration Party leader Elias Chipimo, NDC consultant Dr Chishimba Kambwili, PeP’s Sean Tembo, late People’s Party leader Mike Mulongoti, Republican Progressive Party leader James Lukuku, and representatives of New Labour Party and the People’s Alliance for Change.

Almost exactly one year later, the Opposition is still scared and panicking over President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s name on the ballot box in 2021. The campaign by the Opposition to discredit and eventually stop President Lungu’s candidature, by appealing to the Patriotic Front (PF) Party to find an alternative candidate if it is to win 2021 is now in overdrive.

One does not have to be a genius to understand that the Opposition is not interested in PF winning the 2021 elections! This is an opposition that specializes in antonyms. For example, the Opposition calls PF Government’s infrastructure-led development as underdevelopment, and the roads connecting rural and urban areas as bad because they cannot eat roads. Since the Opposition majors in antonyms, the opposites; what they are actually saying is that if the PF proceeds with President Lungu’s candidature, PF will not lose, but will win the 2021 elections.

The above is so because; when did the Opposition become interested and supportive of ensuring PF’s assured electoral victory in 2021? Why is the Opposition spending so much time and money to plant this story in the media to push this very agenda? If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why should the Opposition worry and panic, instead of celebrating? If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why is the Opposition – having forsaken patriotism – busy discrediting Zambia’s image to the world? If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why is the Opposition celebrating national misfortune such as the negative effects of climate change, which led to:

(a) Poor rains in the 2018/2019 rainy season, resulting in significantly lower electricity generation and distribution (load shedding);
(b) Poor farm yields resulting in high food prices including of mealie meal, and
(c) The above, in additional to other external factors, combined to adversely affect Zambia’s economic performance – as it would to any country.

Perhaps, the real question is; why is the Opposition sacred and panicking about a President Lungu candidacy in 2021?

Here is why: President Lungu does not govern without a goal or as one who beating the air, borrow from the Bible. His goal is the actualization of the 7NDP towards Vision 2030, that is, transforming Zambia into a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030”. As a result, and sadly, Zambia has an Opposition that is bereft of credible policy alternatives besides them trying to paraphrase or repeat the same policies, programmes and projects already espoused in the 7NDP being implemented by the PF Government under President Lungu. Exposed by their lack of sound policy alternatives and their zero capacity for constructive criticism, they have resorted to politics of character assassination as their backbone, instead of discussing substantive issues. This is an Opposition banking on deception, national misery and more adverse climate change effects, just to win an election.

President Lungu’s PF Government is driving the national developmental agenda in line with the 7NDP five (05) strategic areas, namely: “Economic Diversification and Job Creation”; “Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction”; “Reducing Developmental Inequalities”; “Enhancing Human Development” and “Creating A Conducive Governance Environment for A Diversified and Inclusive Economy”. Therefore, besides what the PF Government is already implementing, the Opposition has failed to come up with anything concrete plans outside the abovementioned? If the Opposition has any concrete alternative plans outside what the PF Government is already implementing as highlighted above, what are those plans then?

The above explains why the Opposition in Zambia has resorted to antonyms, character assassination and lies!

It is only yesterday, Friday 22nd November, 2019, that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema lied to the public that ZCCM-IH and IDC overpriced the purchase of Mushe and Superior Mealing, respectively.

Mr. Hichilema’s tweet read as follows: “ZCCM-IH & IDC bought these two milling companies. The two were valued at $3.1 million but they were purchased at $17 million, effectively $13.9 million above their value. This money belongs to tax payers and would have been used to buy essential drugs for 93,000 citizens.” Source: https://t.co/AaYijpnH2A

Mr. Hichilema wanted to deceive the masses by misrepresenting facts. He is being a liar. As the adage goes, Mr. Hichilema is “entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts!”

In the aftermath of Mr. Hichilema’s lies, IDC has clarified that as a matter of fact; “Mushe and Superior Milling (76%) were valued at $13.221m and purchased at $6.908m. Effectively both were bought at over $6m below their valuation. Valuations were done by independent enterprise and asset valuation experts. @IDC @ZCCM-IH we believe in integrity and professionalism.”

Sadly, this is an Opposition presenting itself as an alternative. An Opposition of deception and antonyms. An Opposition of lies which late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa warned us about concerning Mr. Hichilema in his book, “Levy Patrick Mwanawasa: An incentive for posterity”. This Book was written by Mr. Amos Malupenga and edited by Professor Fackson Banda. The book on pages 211-212 gives some candid insight of late President Mwanawasa on Hichilema’s duplicity saying:

“The problem Mr. Hichilema has is the fact that he wants to cheat, to mislead, to show that he is what he is not. His understanding of politics is that it doesn’t matter; you can cheat, provided you get your goals!”

This is not the first time Mr. Hichilema is telling lies aimed at injuring public confidence in the economy. For example, he lied about ZAFFICO being sold to the Chinese.

We even wonder where Mr. Hichilema is getting this sort of courage to even talk about acquisition of assets considering his controversial past? We wonder why he is declaring himself winner of the 2021 election two years before the election is called, which will be his political retirement?

Our response to Mr. Hichilema is that we are not like him. President Lungu will not sell public assets for his personal gain. President Lungu will not sell public assets in order for him to become majority shareholder as was the case with a number of companies associated to Mr. Hichilema during privatisation. President Lungu will not betray the confidence of the Zambian people.

Once again, we are making a passionate appeal to the Opposition to embrace issue-based politics and not cheap lies and antonyms. We are also asking them to be ready for President Lungu’s name on the ballot paper in 2021. It is a no brainer that President will be the strongest contender in the next election.

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