President Edgar Lungu has said that he will leave it to Zambians to judge if United Party for National Development(UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema is committed to dialogue or not. This follows Mr. Hichilema’s outbursts in South Africa when he addressed a media briefing. President Lungu said that it was wrong for a Zambian to be attacking the country’s sovereignty in a foreign country.
Speaking to journalists shortly before departure for Swaziland where he will be guest of honour at an international trade fair, President Lungu said it was up to Zambians to judge whether the opposition leader was committed to dialogue.
“I have always urged people to be patriotic, judge him for yourselves. Is that the kind of a leader people want? The Bembas say ubufumu buichindika ubwine. So you just have to be patriotic and respect the sovereignty of the nation if you want to be respected, if you don’t, no one will respect you,” President Lungu said.
And asked whether HH’s statements whilst in South Africa would jeopordise the dialogue process, President Lungu wondered whether the latter was committed to the process.
“I don’t know whether you can read dialogue and good will in this process. I don’t know. But am ready to meet anyone who wants to discuss issues of governance and how we can bring harmony in the nation.” said President Lungu.
Commenting on petition to fire Finance Minister Felic Mutati, President Lungu said that he has not yet received a report from PF Secretary General Davies Mwila over the petition by Eastern Province Officials against Minister of Finance Felix Mutati.
The head of state was seen off by Vice President Inonge Wina, service chiefs and Cabinet ministers and has since arrived in Manzini, Swaziland for a working visit. The President was welcomed by Swazi Prime Minister Dr. Barnabas Dlamini at around 17 hours. On Friday evening, President Lungu will attend a state banquet hosted for him by his host, King Mswati. On Saturday, the President will officially grace the Swaziland Trade Fair.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe has said that he is saddened by remarks made by opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema in South Africa where he addressed the press.
Mr. Mwakalombe said that since he joined Parliament there has never been a day police were allowed in the Parliamentary chambers to disrupt the session as claimed by Mr. Hichilema.
The Minister said that the opposition leader is misleading people in South Africa by telling them about things that have never happened in Zambia.
And Former UPND Deputy spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo said that the outbursts by Mr. Hichilema in South Africa are diluting the spirit of reconciliation between him and President EDGAR LUNGU.
Mr. Lifwekelo wondered how President Lungu will reconcile with someone who was busy attacking him in a foreign country.
And New Congress party -NCP president Peter Chanda says Mr. Hichilema has forgotten too soon that it is the same judiciary he is attacking that set him and five-5 others free.