UPND President Hakainde Hichilema says he drew guidance from God fight on during the crucial moments during the proceedings in the constitution court in the ongoing presidential petition.
And Mr Hichilema has reiterated that Edgar Lungu should step aside as President in line with the constitution now that the petition is underway.
Addressing a media briefing at his New Kasama residence, Mr Hichilema said the battle that he alongside his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba faced yesterday in court was not an easy one.
Recounting moments leading up to the landmark decision by the constitution court to extend the period of hearing the petition, Mr Hichilema said the two leaders succeeded to convince the court to hear their petition not because of their own intellect.
“The Petition could have collapsed yesterday but it didn’t. We endured from 08 Hours till past midnight and we were told by the respondents who kept interjecting us that we only had 20 to 30 minutes and I told them that we are addressing a people’s court and not your house. If you want to use your watch here, why don’t you go to your house,” Mr Hichilema stated.
He added, “Somehow when we were left just the two of us with my colleague GBM and I would like to sincerely thank him, it was now our time to take the stand and just at that moment my mind switched from concern to opportunity.”
I am a villager from Bweengwa, my rights are equal to that of every citizen of this country. We are equal at law and we must all be treated fairly.
“We saw an opportunity and we took the opportunity, it depends on how your mindset is, sometimes we must look at the thin line. Many times we must look at the opportunity and not just the risk. We saw an opportunity in that small window given to us to address the court and we took it and I believe it was the Almighty guidance and we spoke and today and those that were celebrating that the inauguration will be on Sunday are now crying.”
“Whatever you have heard, you have heard so many accolades attributed to me and GBM. Just as I was leaving court this morning, one Lawyer came up to me and said we are conferring with you the Professorship at law, I laughed and I said no I am a Finance person and I am not changing careers,” he said.
“What happened this morning is not because of our intellect, it’s not that we are special, It’s because of your strength and that of the 15 million Zambians. It’s because of the love of the people of Zambia that we do what we do.
Mr Hichilema emphasized the need for Zambia to respect the rule of law saying the rule of law must apply to everybody.
“I am a villager from Bweengwa, my rights are equal to that of every citizen of this country. We are equal at law and we must all be treated fairly.”
He said, “We are not asking for somebody to feel sorry for us, we are big boys, what we are asking for is independence and fairness of processes so that citizens can have recourse to institutions when they are aggrieved. Justice must allow fair treatment. I felt for the people of Zambia that if we could be treated that way, what about a 70-year-old widow in Shikanakashi, in Kalabo, in Siluwe, in Kaunganashi, in Mutonema, how will that citizen be given a fair treatment, it’s not possible. So you and I have an opportunity to secure those rights for all. We must be treated fairly.”
“We all need justice. If an election is stolen, we choose not to go on the streets, we choose to go to court for redress. To seek that which they will seek when they are soon out of office. Let us be each other’s keeper. Let us not listen to this ethnic division talk, there is no division based on ethnicity, what is there is division between those with a vision to govern and those without,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema said it is unbelievable that the PF have continued to disregard the constitution with impunity even on straight forward issues.
He said it is shocking that the PF even started organising Mr Lungu’s inauguration before the court had even heard the petition.
“I don’t understand why the PF can’t understand even simple issues in our constitution. It took me only one hour to go through that constitution. The constitution is clear that even after the Concort decision, nobody gets inaugurated until after seven days.”
He added that it is sad that public money was spent already to prepare for Mr Lungu’s inauguration next week just like it was done last Tuesday.
Mr Hichilema questioned as to who is going to account for those public funds that have been used to organised an illegal inauguration.
And Mr Hichilema says the constitutional court should direct on the matter of handing over presidency in order to prosecute the petition in a fair manner.
“This man should step aside to allow the petition to be discharged in a fair manner, is that asking for too much?”