Opposition UPND Vice President Geoffrey Bwalya has vowed that there will be no third bid for President Edgar Lungu.
Reacting to President Lungu’s attacks on the judiciary, Mr Bwalya said this is a dark week for democracy in Zambia and Africa as a whole.
He said the utterances by President Lungu expressing his desire for a third term in office and threatening judges not to rule against his third term bid should leave no doubt in the minds of all Zambians and the world at large that the three arms of government in Zambia are under siege of a brutal dictatorial regime.
“Never in the history of our beloved country has such a blatant and deliberate act of intimidation of the Judiciary has been seen. Under the Constitution, the Judiciary ought to be an independent arm of government free from interference or direction from anyone,” Mr Bwalya said.
“However in clear violation of Articles 119 and 122 of the Constitution, Edgar Lungu saw it fit to directly interfere with the independence of the Judiciary by giving the Constitutional Court instructions on how to adjudicate upon a matter in which he has personal and, quite obviously, selfish interest, that is the case in which his eligibility to stand as a presidential candidate in 2021 is being considered.”
He said “In whatever way one looks at it, Lungu’s message to the Judiciary was loud and clear. His message was that the Constitutional Court should decide that case in his favour; that the Court should decide that he is entitled to stand for a third term in 2021 or else there will be chaos in Zambia.”
“In other words Edgar Lungu was telling the Judiciary how to perform its functions. And he was warning Zambians that the PF will cause chaos if he doesn’t have his way. Fellow Zambians, this is not only contentious of the Court but also a breach of the Constitution.”
The UPND Vice President said this has exposed President Lungu to possibility of being impeached under Article 108 of the Constitution on grounds that he has violated the sacred law of our land by his careless and irresponsible utterances and on grounds that he has committed a gross misconduct.
“We therefore urge all Members of Parliament to rise above partisan interest and save the Country from Lungu’s tyranny before it is too late,” he said.
“Likewise, we urge the Judiciary, through the Chief Justice, to prove its independence by publicly condemning this unwarranted attack and by taking appropriate action against Lungu in the same way it has done against other citizens in the recent past. No one is above the law, not least Lungu!”
He added, “Civil Society, the Law Association of Zambia, the Church and all well meaning Zambians must protect Zambia`s hard won democracy and speak out against this tyranny. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to come.”
“Let us preserve the peace that Zambia has enjoyed for 53 years and say no to Lungu`s selfish attempts to plunge the country into chaos. Zambia is bigger than one man and his band of thieves, whose only interest is to hold onto power at whatever cost so that they can enrich themselves at the expense of the millions of Zambians suffering in abject poverty.”