THE Patriotic Front (PF) has described reports that its presidential candidate Edgar Lungu has fallen sick and has been evacuated to South Africa as malicious and a desperate attempt by the opposition to cause panic and despondency in the ruling party and frustrate its campaign programme.
PF director of communication and publicity Brian Hapunda said Mr Lungu had not fallen ill and that scandalous talks about his health are nauseating apart from being aimed at diverting the attention of the party from campaigning.
Mr Hapunda said it was not surprising that some online publications had launched a propaganda campaign to slander and malign the PF president because it had become clear that Mr Lungu had become the favourite to win the presidential election next month. Mr Hapunda said Mr Lungu was in Lusaka and had been kept busy with a series of meetings and that he would be resuming his normal campaign schedule today with the first campaign rally in Mbala in Northern Province.
He said the reports were meant to cause panic and anxieties in the ruling party so that its campaigns could be affected but stated that the ruling party would not be distracted from its set goals of winning the presidential election and remaining in government.
He has appealed to the PF general membership and the nation at large to ignore the propaganda campaign against Mr Lungu and the party because the reports purporting that the PF president was unwell were unfounded and baseless.
Mr Hapunda said the ruling party was aware that its enemies were determined to frustrate its campaigns and would invent every reason in their schemes to cause alarm and panic in the party.
“We wish to refute some reports being published by some online publication that the PF president has fallen sick. Mr Lungu is well and executing his functions as leader of the ruling party and as presidential candidate. The reports are baseless, malicious and meant to cause panic and anxieties in the party and the country as a whole. The reports must be ignored and we must not be distracted from our goal of winning the presidential election next month,” Mr Hapunda said.
He said those talking about the health of Mr Lungu had nothing to occupy themselves with apart from petty and malicious gossip which he said would add no value to the campaigns.
He said the PF was promoting clean campaigns devoid of malice, slander and hate speech and appealed to the opposition political parties to emulate the ruling party.
Mr Lungu is today expected in Mbala where he will address a rally as well as Kaputa and Mpulungu before flying to Isoka and Nakonde in his marathon campaign trail.