Images showing President Edgar Lungu eating a freshly grilled Snake have attracted mixed reactions.
On Saturday, President Lungu while officiating as guest of honour during the Pass Out of the ZAF Special Forces Unit in Mbala was served a plate of Puff Adder snake which he consumed, much to be bemusement of onlookers.
Some people have condemned the actions as being Satanic while the UPND says President Lungu risked being misunderstood as encouraging snake eating due to the current food shortages.
UPND Chairperson for Agriculture Levy Ngoma said the party wishes to warn people in hunger-stricken places never to emulate eating of snakes as an alternative.
“Our starving brothers and sisters across the country especially those in the northern circuit of the country should not copy the recent dramatic antics by Mr Edgar Lungu and start eating snakes. We also wish to make it known that had it been Mr Hichilema who ate the Puff Adder, or Ifwafwa as it is known in Bemba, he would have been called names such as ‘witch’ or ‘satanist.’”
“We are glad that Mr Hichilema is a farmer who would not prescribe eating of snakes as an option. What we need is the swift delivery of correct farm implements across the board. But it is so sad that Mr Lungu chose to be deceptive by indirectly encourage our poor, starving brothers and sisters across the country to start eating snakes, barely a month after his Vice President implored these same poor souls to consider shifting from eating nshima to other foods such as pumpkins, cassava and millet.” Mr Ngoma said.
“As if to add salt to an open wound, Mr Lungu chose to take advantage of the prevailing hunger situation in the country by showcasing snakes as an alternative source of food. The UPND fears that, left unabated, the PF, through its leader will fail to address hunger and prescribe eating snakes as an option.”
He added, “We say so because, being the Head of State, a huge number of unsuspecting Zambians might take eating snakes to survive during these hard times where food has become so scarce and survival is almost impossible for majority Zambians. We are aware that a number of people across the country have not only expressed disgust at the unwarranted gesture, but are worried that Mr Lungu is indirectly telling them to resort to eating snakes as a food supplement for the hungry mouths amidst the wide-spread hunger instead of declaring hunger as an emergency.”
“We also wish to question the motive for the move seeing that snakes have never been a part of Zambia’s food menu in any culture and tradition. Furthermore, we wish to question the rational behind him standing next to a bearded army officer when the men in uniform are known for observing the highest code of cleanliness or, is that named army personnel just one of the PF cadres clad in military attire or a PF Sangoma?”
“Therefore, if the PF wants to be eating snakes, we implore them to continue doing so without undue influence on unsuspecting ordinary Zambians to take this route. Zambians want better agriculture.”