Mambo defends Mpundu; says if death comes to him, so be it
CIVIL Society Constitution Agenda chairperson Bishop John Mambo says the three Church mother bodies were right to call Zambia a dictatorship.
And CiSCA says the PF should prove that President Edgar Lungu won the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) says President Lungu sees no crisis in the country because he is always traveling, backing last Friday’s statement by the three Church mother bodies who called for dialogue to end political tension.
Bishop Mambo said said during a press briefing in Lusaka today that CiSCA agreed with everything the three Church mother bodies raised last week concerning the state of the nation.
“Our position this morning as CiSCA is that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the three church mother bodies. CiSCA adopts the statement by the three church mother bodies. What we are going to share with you is what we feel and we will just add on what was raised by the church last week. The three church mother bodies had our blessing as CiSCA,” Bishop Mambo said.
He said Zambians should speak out on the injustices happening in the country.
In Zambia today, it looks like when you are in the opposition then you are an enemy. It is the role of the church to be the voice of the voiceless. If death comes directed to Archbishop (Telesphore) Mpundu, so be it. If death or arrest comes to me, so be it. We are saddened by the attacks being directed to the three church mother bodies, especially to Archbishop Mpundu. The same bible says touch not my anointed because you can curse yourself in many ways. Once you touch me, an ambassador of God, you can say anything but that is not right,
said Bishop Mambo.
“Archbishop Mpundu was called a cadre, full of water in the head…if you are insulting him then you are insulting the Pope. They are busy talking about tribalism but what have we seen after the statement from the three church mother bodies; ba Banda, Mwanza, Mambo, Phiri, Daka are the only ones saying no, no, no…but if it was people from another province, it would have been something else. No one will deny today that this country is bleeding and is in trouble. Zambia is in leadership crisis. Dr Kenneth Kaunda respected the church, he was humble enough to rescind certain decisions he made when the church stepped in. As a church, we will respect political leaders but we will not fear them. We will come out in the open and condemn the bad things happening in the country.”
And CiSCA vice chairperson Pamela Chisanga said there was no law in Zambia which criminalised failure to recognise the President.
“The UPND have maintained that they will not recognise President Lungu as President until their election petition is heard. We have heard a lot of pronouncements from government officials, PF party officials and party cadres demanding that the UPND and Hakainde Hichilema concede defeat and recognise President Lungu as President. Hakainde Hichilema, UPND members of parliament, officials and cadres have equally been adamant about non-recognition of President Lungu. We believe that article 103 of the Zambian Constitution potentially provides for non-recognition of a president on the ground that a president has been invalidly elected or where the Zambian Constitution or any law relating to the presidential election was not complied with,” Chisanga said.
“When this happens, the Constitution mandates the Constitutional Court to hear the election petition to validate or invalidate the election of the president. Rather than going down the route of analysing what happened as this will not lead us anywhere, we want to suggest the following; that the PF use legal means available to them to prove to the UPND that President Lungu was legitimately elected to put this matter to a close. Another option is for dialogue. We strongly believe that if all parties to this challenge are reasonable, this is something that can be resolved through dialogue – even if that dialogue is to agree or disagree, it will help the two parties establish boundaries on how to express their disagreement.”
She said CiSCA agreed with various sectors of society, including the three Church mother bodies (ZCCB, CCZ and EFZ) that Zambia is in a crisis.
Chisanga said it was no secret that the country was polarised, and that the mood in the country was highly toxic with hate speech and tribalist sentiments.
She said her organisation was saddened to see that in two years, Zambia had become a shell of a democratic state where those sworn to protect and defend the Constitution and respect the rule of law were the ones at the forefront of mutilating it and disrespecting the rule of law without restraint or shame.
“This is what happens when patriotism gives way to patronage and integrity gives way to greed and corruption. We believe that unless the Constitution, the rule of law and human rights are respected, it will be difficult for the PF government to erase the image of tyranny that is now firmly formed in the minds of many in our country and beyond borders. CiSCA believes that a person does not lose his human rights simply by being in the custody of law enforcing agents. CiSCA learnt with sadness that the police service attempted to bundle HH and his co-accused into a vehicle filled with faeces and Hichilema and his co-accused were brutalised during their arrest and during their transfer to Mukobeko Maximum Prison. This is a violation of article 18 of the Zambian Constitution because not even a convict deserves such kind of inhuman treatment,” Chisanga said.
The Human Rights Commission must urgently undertake an enquiry into the condition under which Hichilema and others are detained with clear recommendations to address any challenges noted within an acceptable period. The Human Rights Commission must conscientise citizens on their rights, especially rights of persons found in conflict with the law.
She also called on President Lungu to immediately abolish the Ministry of Religion and National Guidance, saying that it will put an end to the confusion brought by the creation of the ministry.
And Chisanga said President Lungu sees no crisis in the country because he is able to fly in and out of the country.
“Perhaps this is where the problem is, that our President is not on the ground long enough to feel the palpable mood of anger and hatred that is now reaching boiling point in this country,” she said.
Chisanga said CiSCA had also watched with shock the debate on the candidate of the PF for the 2021 general election.
It goes without saying that PF under President Lungu has been in power for the second term of office for less than 10 months now. Ordinarily, one would have thought that the regime would be now focused on delivering on the campaign promises, but alas, the PF priority seems to be on securing a third term for President Lungu . This debate is logically misplaced, legally wrong and goes against the Zambian Constitution. The eligibility of President Lungu is before the courts of law, why are the PF discussing it now? Do they already know the verdict?
Meanwhile, People’s Party President Mike Mulongoti said journalists should investigate President Lungu’s history.
“What is the history of Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu? I want you the journalists to investigate this very well. Mr. Lungu claims he was born at Ndola Central Hospital in 1956, that time, that hospital was for Europeans. It is not possible that he was born there? He claims he went to Mukuba Secondary School, can you investigate which primary school he went to. You can’t go to a secondary school if you have not been to a primary school. Where is his village? The whole village is dead? We want to know his uncles, relatives…we know he has relatives in Lusaka…When we resolve these issues of who he is, then we will know why we are having all these problems,” Mulongoti said.
“It’s not possible that a fellow Zambian can just wake up and start brutalising the citizens. It’s not normal, it’s not possible…you journalists investigate this. I am putting my head on the chopping board, Bishop Mambo said he is ready to die…I have always been ready. We started fighting Dr Kaunda in 1991, Dr Chiluba…for me death…I am a Christian, God will receive me. Go to Ndola Central Hospital, Mukuba Secondary School and check the files for President Lungu. What do you people know about President Lungu? We don’t know the origin of our President. Some of you went to Mukuba Secondary School, did you meet him? I am challenging you…stop fearing nothing. We must expose each other. You can see the relationship between him and Dr Scott, it’s so bad. When Dr Scott was acting president, he sent people to go and investigate where he comes from and that’s how their relationship became bad. I am sure Dr Scott stumbled on the truth. I have been saying this for some time. We have nothing against him as a person but we have something against his conduct