WHISPER in President Edgar Lungu’s ears that this country has a feeling he is not looking after everybody; tell him that I am the angriest of them all, a former minister Frederick Chiluba’s government Reuben Musakabantu told the Inquiry on Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence in Lusaka on Tuesday afternoon.
Musakabantu, who was making a submission to the Inquiry on Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence in Lusaka on Tuesday afternoon, said President Lungu was not in charge of the country and should therefore quit if he was tired.
He said there was so much lawlessness in the country.
“The perception going round this country is that the President is not in charge…If he is tired, he can quit. We need a President to stand up and stop some of these things. The political will from the Commander-In-Chief is not there,” Musakabantu said.
He said it was evident that the rule of law had broken down under President Lungu’s leadership.
“The breakdown of the rule of law is another source of electoral violence in this country. The President took an oath of office by saying that he will protect the Constitution. I am afraid, he hasn’t done so well. President Lungu should return the country to the rule of law. The law has broken down in this country. There was a woman who was undressed by PF cadres because she was wearing UPND regalia during a state function. Now, these are things we have never seen before. I have seen mad men who undress completely but I have never seen a mad woman who undresses completely. That is not the way we should go,” Musakabantu said.
“You should whisper in the President’s ears that this country has a feeling that you are not looking after everybody. Tell him that Mr Musakabantu is the angriest of them all. I hope Lungu (President) has not brought this Commission to say that we don’t need political parties in Zambia. I hope he will not do that. PF officials have said that we are better off with one party. The violence, the lawlessness, the application of the public order Act; the President took an oath of office that he is going to protect and uphold the Constitution and that God should help him. God has not forsaken him.”
He said the electoral violence that was witnessed in the country was unprecedented.
“The kind of violence we have now is unusual, where people are moving around with guns. All these issues have gone unpunished. I don’t know if there is no law. I believe that the causes of violence are number one; the absence of a democratic culture in political parties, hate speeches. For Example, former PF secretary general Davies Chama insulted all the Tongas. He also fired shots in Mulobezi and he talked about people urinating in Kariba dam; calling on the Chinese to come and urinate in the dam because we need more water,” Musakabantu said.
“That was an insult to the Chinese. What does the President do, he appoints him Minister of Defense! These are serious mistakes. Then Dora Siliya says the only province where they cannot elect someone from outside is Southern Province. She said it on TV and she was Minister of Energy. I have personally worked with three presidents; Fredrick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa, and Rupiah Banda. I was very close to the first two. Presidents need people who can tell them the truth.”
He also said the public order Act management by the police was also another source of violence in the country.
“Police take commands and it is also because PF has been good at interfering in the work of the police. The other source of electoral violence in the country is the Electoral Commission of Zambia. I don’t understand what Mrs Priscilla Isaac is still doing there because she is so arrogant; she thinks that the ECZ is a private institution. We don’t need to have arrogant public leaders. All arrogant leaders belong to the cadre group and are supposed to be at bus stations, not at ECZ. And people who make appointments in this country must be sensitive. The other source of violence in this country is the public media. I think the public media in this country are a disaster because of political interference. They don’t cover anybody and now the private media has been banned. It is sad that we are killing democracy,” Musakabantu said.
“I don’t know what I would do to the public media if I was elected president of this country. Maybe I would fire all of them and start afresh with students from Evelyn Hone College.”
He said it was sad that the PF had curtailed freedom of expression in the country.
“People are scared of speaking out nowadays. I remember there was a time I was attending a function at Pamodzi Hotel and when I asked some of my friends; people I served with in the previous governments to speak, they all refused. They were scared. I will speak out today! Mr Chair, am I protected? Anyway, I am 68 years old and I am not scared of dying,” said Musakabantu.