By Dyson Bubala
United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) leader Charles Chanda says there is political tension in the country because President Edgar Lungu won with a slender margin in the last polls.
Chanda said in an interview with Pan African Radio’s Fulman Mukobeko that Zambia has been at crossroads since the August 16, 2017.
He said it is undeniable that no Presidential Candidate garnered over 50+1 percent votes in the last elections.
“For me,political dialogue could have started just after the election results were announced. We are all aware that not any of our Presidential Candidate got 50+1 votes. Meaning, the all country is not on the side of PF because the percentage margin between President Lungu and Hichilema was too small so there is a section of society that is on the side of the opposition,” Chanda said adding, “therefore you cannot bulldoze everybody and say I don’t care, I can’t talk to anybody, it is a waste of time. It is those tendencies of our President that is making the population say he is doing what he wants.”
Chanda said in the situation where the election results were neck- to -neck, a coalition Government was supposed to be formed.
“In a normal democratic country, where elections are neck -to -neck, normally a coalition Government prevails. You can get some members from the opposition because you know there is a section of society that has confidence in them,” the UPPZ leader said.
He regretted that Mr. Lungu has changed very much since he became Head of State.
“I am shocked myself because this is not a President Lungu i knew before. Before the elections, it was humble leadership. He was even saying that I am a servant of the people. During the campaigns, he was approachable but all over a sudden, our President has changed. He is planting fear in us and this is not helping the country. You cannot say that I cannot dialogue because it is a waste of time. You see, dialogue is important,” said the opposition leader
And Chanda says President Lungu should not be living in denial that all is well and there is no crisis in the country
“The problem is that Government is behaving like an ostrich. The ostrich will hide its head in the sand while the body is left exposed so how can the President say there is no crisis then he is behaving like an Ostrich,” he stated.
He said the PF should not isolate itself from the international community because it affiliates to it.
“Those people who give money like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are democrats. How can they give money to the country where 48 opposition members of parliament were suspended,” Chanda said
He said the best thing the PF regime can do is to act on the concerns raised by the three church mother bodies.