The youth wing of the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) says President Hakainde Hichilema is not hypocritical.
Former President Edgar Lungu has sparked debate after speaking against hypocrisy in an interview with ZNBC Television during the burial of Fourth Republican President Rupiah Bwezani Banda in Lusaka on Friday.
Mr. Lungu bemoaned what he termed as the hypocrisy that is being seen where people say good things and then do what he described as bad things.
“Dialogue, genuine dialogue between all of us. Those who were in government before, and those who are in now. But what we are seeing is hypocrisy. Where people say good things and then do bad things. And if we can expunge the hypocrisy from our lives and just say it as it is, between now and embarking into the future, it’s a lesson we are learning from Rupiah Banda’s legacy. People have said a lot of good things. May those good things become part of us,” Mr. Lungu remarked.
Some people suggest that Mr. Lungu was referring to President Hichilema and his New Dawn Government when bemoaning hypocrisy.
But UPND Deputy National Youth – Information and Publicity Secretary David Chikwanda branded President Hichilema as a mature and diplomatic leader.
“HH had an option to talk about how he was treated during Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s funeral or how bad he was treated by the previous regime. He had an option to stop Edgar Lungu from attending the funeral of Rupiah Banda. He had an option to talk about the hypocrisy of those who had a day of prayer and reconciliation but behind the scenes were killing people in cold blood. HH chose a path of peace and chose to respect the funeral of the late statesman. HH brought his enemies closer in the spirit of love because the whole world was watching what was happening in Zambia,” he said.
“Yes we have a lot of issues affecting our nation which includes the looting of public resources by the previous regime but the funeral was not a platform for such. This is the point and wisdom Edgar missed. All he could have said was “We thank the state for according the late President a befitting send off in a peaceful and respectful environment” chapwa,” Mr. Chikwanda stated.
“In the recent past a number of people including the clergy have expressed their displeasure in the perceived manner that HH has treated people who allegedly stole public resources. A number of people feel HH has treated the criminals with kid’s gloves. I also agree. But despite this feeling, we were all happy in the manner President Hichilema treated president Lungu in respect to the funeral of RB. The whole nation thought this was a turning point and the beginning of the new era in Zambian politics. But we were wrong,” he said.
Mr. Chikwanda, the former Copperbelt University Students Union President, said Mr. Lungu’s comment was ill timed.
“No matter how much we might defend the statement by President Lungu, the fact still remains that the statement lacked wisdom and was ill timed. Edgar should have behaved like a statesman that people expect him to be. Yes we have known President Lungu to be careless with words but we didn’t expect it at this occasion. HH was not being hypocritical but exhibited diplomacy, maturity and respect required or expected of any human being at a funeral,” he said.
“We applaud HH for according president Banda a befitting send off but we wish to remind him (HH) that the ‘funeral is over’ let us treat criminals as criminals, murderers as murderers. At the same time this is an eye opener for HH not to be careless with enemies otherwise he will lose his life in return. Criminals are ruthless,” Mr. Chikwanda said.