Power and Politics

Hichilema’s call for dialogue with ex-President Lungu not genuine, says Patriotic Front


The Edgar Lungu-led Patriotic Front (PF) has criticized President Hakainde Hichilema’s recent pronouncement on dialogue, calling it a political window dressing exercise.

PF Vice President Given Lubinda stated that Hichilema’s declaration of reaching out to Lungu lacked genuine intent.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka on Monday, Lubinda said that similar statements from the Executive had not been realized in the past.

Lubinda argued that Hichilema’s response to the church’s call for a meeting with Lungu appeared forced, resulting in a superficial statement.

He accused Hichilema of making such pronouncements for show rather than from genuine commitment.

“As far as we know Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, this pronouncement was meant for the gallery, like many other hypocritical statements he has made in the past,” Lubinda said.

He noted that many Zambians were frustrated by Hichilema’s failure to meet with his predecessor over the past three years.

Lubinda stressed that it shouldn’t require the Clergy’s intervention for Hichilema to initiate dialogue with Lungu.

“As he confronts his pronouncement about meeting ECL, we implore Mr. Hakainde to address the numerous challenges he has inflicted on the people of Zambia,” he said.

He highlighted the challenges as the high cost of living, rising inflation, debt, lack of money circulation, food insecurity, load shedding, and disease outbreaks.

Read More: Hichilema promises to reach out to former President Lungu for peace talks

Lubinda attributed these crises to issues such as poverty, unemployment, lack of economic opportunities, and rural underdevelopment.

“Mr. Hichilema has not demonstrated keenness to resolve these issues. Had he consulted with his predecessor and respected previous governments for what they had done for Zambia, he could not have caused all these challenges,” Lubinda stated.

Regarding the expulsion of nine PF lawmakers, Lubinda claimed there was no legal justification for declaring the seats vacant by Parliament.

He described the action as a blatant erosion of democracy and lawlessness of the highest order, calling it unconstitutional and an impeachable offense.

“The Court did not in any way pronounce itself on the expulsion of the nine MPs as required by Article 72. In clear terms, the court did not nullify the seats,” Lubinda concluded.

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