Civil Rights Activist Brebner Changala has said President Hakainde Hichilema should swallow his pride and privately engage his predecessor Edgar Lungu over their differences.
The cold relationship between President Hichilema and former President Lungu was highlighted that Monday when the head of state used strong language against ECL.
During a UPND party meeting in Kitwe on Monday, President Hichilema said it was stupid “Kutumpa” that Mr. Lungu and PF wants to retain power through violence and falsehoods.
Featuring on HOT FM’s Hot Seat, Mr. Changala said the tension between President Hichilema and Mr. Lungu was not healthy because of their huge followings.
Mr. Changala described President Hichilema’s strong comment against Mr. Lungu as threatening and disastrous.
“That is a disaster. When I listened to a clip that went viral on social media I could not believe that it was President Hakainde Hichilema threatening a former President and warning him not to attempt coming back to power. Those were threats and most importantly the language he was implying Ukutumpa. For whatever differences they have, ECL is not a small boy nor is he a son to Mr. Hakainde. Having said that, ECL lost power but he never lost his rights as enshrined in our constitution. ECL is not under house arrest. Mr.Hakainde was adequately advised when he took over power to constitute a commission of inquiry to look into the seven-year period under ECL which everybody could see with a naked eye that things didn’t go well and he has been marked timing. He has never made any move. Now today the President wants ECL or Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu to toll the UPND line. It won’t happen and most dangerously the President should not be the arresting officer, the judge and the jury, convicting people on public platforms. If ECL has done anything wrong, let him follow the due process of the law,” Mr. Changala said.
He added that the tension between the two is hurting President Hichilema the most because is the one currently occupying the office of President.
“Yesterday in that clip, he reminded the people of Zambia of the atrocities that the PF committed. He (HH) is President today, what has he done to make those men and women accountable other than to go and withdraw the rights that accrue to our former President. He has no right to do that. ECL has a right to say what he said in Church it is up to the people of Zambia to judge him and judge him harshly. It does not take a President to use public office to run over his former President. This is not the way you reconcile. ECL is one gentleman who appears once in a while in public and every time he walks out of his home to go to Church. These churches are for sinners and he went to cleanse himself and while there he passed comments. Of course ECL is politicking and he has come to realise that every time he speaks, the UPND is rattled and he is enjoying it because you know when it comes to the balance of assessment the greater responsibility when you talk is when on Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. ECL has got very little if any responsibilities at this moment in time. We look up to the Head of State to steer the ship forward,” Mr. Changala said.
“My worry is that this enmity won’t end until one of them for some reason is retired into heaven because if the President is going to keep on saying what you did to me if I want I will stop you from going to Church. Not the law but him. I am extremely worried about that. The bigger person is the current President and I would have loved him to have swallowed his pride a long time ago to take a walk and visit ECL. I knew the gates were going to open there and have a private chat. Outside the media, outside anybody, it could be in the evening or on Sunday when he is free so that they reduce tension. Mind you this is where I am extremely worried. Both Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and ECL have a huge following. ECL has not lost touch with the people of this country,” Mr. Changala added.