The interrogation and reported the arrest of former Presidential Press Aide Amos Chanda has turned yet another bad page in President Edgar Lungu’s legacy. The proximity of serious crimes and bad governance to Mr Lungu’s Presidency should worry every concerned Zambian regardless of political party affiliation.
Amos Chanda was the closest person to the President, perhaps next to our mother Esther Lungu and the fact that DEC is on his case says a lot about what happens in the corridors of State House and government circles as a whole. Many people have insinuated that there is rampant abuse of authority of office among those in government and Chanda’s case just qualifies the fears.
People close to Mr Lungu have been reported to be consistently on the wrong side of moral leadership. Only recently my elder brother Kaizer Zulu was in the news not once, but several times. Whether the allegations against Kaizer are true or not is another thing but the fact that these allegations keep surfacing should be a cause for concern because Kaizer is not an ordinary citizen, he is the President’s, right-hand man. And he is not the only one.
Today Mr Lungu is on record opposing the Constitutional Court ruling over illegal use of government resources by Ministers during the 2016 campaigns. In a normal democracy, all those who won elections using illegal means should have had their seats nullified after the Con Court judgment. As a matter of principle, the President should be the first person to protect the integrity of the Judiciary.
We have the issue of Bill 10 which has deeply divided the country because of tyrannical clauses like the one allowing the Executive to acquire loans without the approval of Parliament. These are Mafia-like maneuvers and back door Constitutional amendments which the majority of Zambians are up against. Again, the President’s arrogant response to a question on Bill 10 during his press interaction points to further arm twisting of citizens abetted by the President.
Mr Lungu needs to begin to distance the Presidency from criminality and tyranny if he needs the support of Zambians. He cannot afford to be on the wrong side of morality and expect the country to rally behind his leadership. Zambians are maturing in political decisions making and politicians should not expect that business will be as usual.
As for Amos, I cannot pass any judgment on him because he has not been found guilty of any crimes, maybe not just yet. However, his case has subtracted from the people’s expectation of the State House and the Presidency.
On a positive note, it was good to see the President finally addressing the media and taking questions. Perhaps Issac Chipampe has brought some new thinking at State House.