By Bright Chikele:
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has challenged UPND president Hakainde Hichilema to explain to his party officials and Zambians why he chose Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba as his running mate and abandoned his long and faithful vice-president for political affairs Dr Canisius Banda.
And President Lungu said he was an ardent believer of press freedom and has insisted that Fred M’membe, the proprietor of The Post Newspaper currently closed by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) for non-payment of K53 million tax debts should own up and settle the debt instead of attacking him (President Lungu).
President Lungu said he took it upon himself to explain to the Patriotic Front (PF) leadership and Zambians in general why he had picked Vice-President Inonge Wina as his running mate but that Mr Hichilema had failed to disclose to the UPND why he preferred Mr Mwamba over Dr Banda.
The Head of State said Mr Hichilema had an obligation to tell Zambians why he settled for Mr Mwamba as his running mate so that the nation should know what kind of presidency the UPND leader was trying to create.
Featuring on a special Hot FM Radio program in Kawambwa yesterday that was also broadcast on 21 Radio stations across the country, President Lungu said the presidency was about the President and his vice and it was important for Zambians to know what kind of the presidency was going to be formed between Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba.
“Zambians are looking for a user-friendly presidency and is it possible for citizens to trust Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba? Mr Hichilema has not explained to his friends in the UPND why he preferred Mr Mwamba as his running mate over his long and loyal vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu said he would punish and admonish anyone who would be involved in political violent activities irrespective of their political affiliation.