PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu must remain his own man and should never allow himself to be held captive by any individual or group of people whose interests are anchored on sabotaging the smooth governance of the country, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has said.
Mr Changala said President Lungu had given Zambians hope that he would remain his own man by declaring that he was not going to allow himself to be a hostage of any group of people infamously known as the cartel which he said had the notoriety of hijacking State institutions and rendering a legitimately elected President useless.
Mr Changala appealed to President Lungu to be guided by the law and the Constitution in his decisions and should be strong in dealing with a clique of individuals that was almost making the country ungovernable under late president Michael Sata because they had allegedly hijacked Government institutions.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that the conduct of former Attorney General Musa Mwenye who misled Cabinet after the death of president Sata and threatened President Lungu with treason who was at the time Acting President was disgraceful and should never be allowed to happen again.
Mr Changala said it was his expectation that after the death of president Sata, Mr Mwenye should have consulted his principal at the Ministry of Justice how to legally handle the transition but he was shocked that he (Mwenye) erroneously decided to report to then Vice-President Guy Scott who did not have the instruments of power.
He said there was suspicion that Mr Mwenye had his own team outside the Ministry of Justice that influenced his decision, rightly or wrongly, to threaten Mr Lungu and other Cabinet ministers at the time with treason if they were going to insist that the then Defence and Justice Minister continue acting as President.
He said what transpired during the time President Lungu was forced to hand over the instruments of power to Dr Scott or face treason if he was going to refuse must be taken care of to avoid the occurrence from repeating itself in the future.
“It is from this occurrence and many others before and after the death of Mr Sata that I appeal to President Lungu to be his own man, guided by the Constitution in his presidential decisions. He must not allow himself to be a hostage of any individual or group of people whose interests are anchored on sabotaging national governance. A clear situation was when Mr Sata was sworn in as President, he embarked on a crusade to remove very serious court cases from our judiciary. Late President Sata handed Finance Bank back to Rajan Mahthani and grabbed Zamtel from Lap Green when the matter was in court,” Mr Changala said.
He explained that while Mr Sata was taking such actions, those who are now criticizing President Lungu did not see anything wrong and even encouraged the late president to continue on his crusade.
Mr Changala said the members of the cartel were finding every action of President Lungu wrong adding that when some citizens suggested that former president Rupiah Banda and other citizens’ cases be dropped, the clique rose and condemned the suggestion.
“This time around, the members of the cartel are finding everything wrong with what President Lungu is doing. Former president Banda’s cases were purely instigated at the behest of the cartel. The cases were clearly a product of political hatred. I want to tell them that what is good for geese is good for the gander. This hatred for Mr Banda and other citizens must be stopped because history is replete with injustices which are a product of our notorious cartel which has the competence to hijack State institutions,” Mr Changala said.