ELIAS Chipimo says President Lungu must immediately begin a succession process if his announcement that he will not stand in 2021 is genuine. Chipimo, the NAREP president, has also said President Lungu should let the political parties he sponsored to seek the interpretation of his eligibility withdraw the matter.
President Lungu on Thursday said he would only go up to 2021, making an abrupt turn from his earlier position that he would recontest the next presidential election.
He recently reiterated in Solwezi that he was interested in contesting the 2021 polls and warned judges against barring him, saying there would be chaos in the country. His statement was met with widespread condemnation, with the Law Association of Zambia demanding a retraction, saying he, as a lawyer, should be first to respect the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the law.
The amended Constitution of the Republic of Zambia states in Article 106(3) that a President who had held office twice (one who has been sworn in) could not contest elections the third time.
“So let us all rise to the occasion and ensure that industrialization becomes a reality in our life time, or in my term of office; by the way I am only going up to 2021…yes, I am going up to 2021, unless otherwise,” announced President Lungu.
But Chipimo said yesterday that for President Lungu’s statement to be believed, he must immediately find a successor for the PF.
“We have heard the statement issued earlier today by the republican president during his address to the Zambia Association of Manufacturers in which he indicated that his term of office will end in 2021. If the president is genuinely stating that he will not be eligible to stand again after 2021, he must request those who have lodged the application before the Constitutional Court seeking to allow him to stand again after 2021, to withdraw it immediately. He must begin a sensible succession process within the PF and embark on a full reconciliation agenda with all Zambians by addressing the deep unemployment and poverty crisis that is prevailing and will only get worse as the years go by if we maintain the present approach,”
He said President Lungu must make his final term in office count by ensuring job creation and prosperity for all Zambians.
“Zambia must deliver a comprehensive tailor made solution that will deliver jobs and prosperity for every single Zambian by the end of 2018. As NAREP, we will do all in our power to ensure our country has a befitting legacy that can bring healing to our politics and prosperity to our people. We believe this is possible through the Twenty Percent Generation Plan (TPG) that will focus on delivering training and supply contracts in conjunction with NGOs and the private sector, to women, youth and vulnerable groups,” said Chipimo. “We are determined to end the hardships being faced by ordinary Zambians and the harsh effects of poverty such as prostitution, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, early marriage, defilement, sexual exploitation and the like. President Lungu must make this final term in office count by fully embracing plans such as TPG.”