A SCHEME to generate anger and an uprising against President Edgar Lungu through an ill-fated petition to defer the 2016 presidential election has boomeranged as the presidency has scoffed at the petitioners who it is strongly believed are linked to the Rainbow Party president Wynter Kabimba.
The presidency has also said Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi and other opposition leaders hired to verbally abuse President Lungu should direct their anger towards Robson Malipenga, the lawyer representing the petitioners who is a friend to Rainbow Party leader Kabimba.
Special assistant to the President for Press and public relations Amos Chanda said it was not suprising that a named local tabloid was a
ware of the contents of the petition to postpone the presidential election because the media house was a strong supporter and image builder of Mr Kabimba who was enjoying exclusive coverage from the newspaper.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu was unaware about the petition until he was briefed that some people were to petition the courts to defer the presidential election and that at no time had the Head of State entertained the idea of deferring the presidential election so that he could serve the next five years of his term without going for another election.
He said it was curious that Mr Malipenga, the lawyer representing the petitioners, was an ally of Mr Kabimba, who was a progeny of the newspaper that was closely following up the petition.
Mr Chanda said because of the alleged relationship between Mr Kabimba and Mr Malipenga, there was a possibility that the newspaper could have been involved in the petition so as to cause political consternation in the country and generate anger against President Lungu.
He said the media house that was religiously following the petition story was briefed about the scheme and had advance information and that there was a possibility that the newspaper could have been part of the plan to raise people’s emotions against the Head of State.
“The petition that has been taken to court proposing the deferment of the presidential election in 2016 does not have the blessings of President Lungu. President Lungu has already told Zambians that he was briefed about the petition while travelling to Mozambique. And curiously, the lawyer representing the petitioners is a friend of Mr Wynter Kabimba who is the leader of a vanity project called the Rainbow Party.
And one newspaper curiously appears to be well briefed and had advance information before the petition could get to the court. This newspaper may be party to the petition because the person whose image they are building is scared of going for elections next year,” Mr Chanda said.
He advised Ms Nawakwi, the FDD leader, to consider going to the State broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC), and watch and listen to the video in which President Lungu had stated his position about the petition to postpone the presidential election.
Mr Chanda said Ms Nawakwi should not base her comments on the audio tape that was provided to her but should authenticate her comments by taking time to listen to the video footage so that she could be sure the audio was not manipulated to attract her angry reaction.
He stated that ZNBC was aware that some people could be gullible and easily misinterpret President Lungu’s speech in Mozambique and repeated the programme in an attempt to avoid careless talk such as comments from Ms Nawakwi.
Mr Chanda explained that President Lungu was not looking at postponing the elections next year but looking forward to calling for elections between now and September next year.
He said even the UPND which was worried that President Lungu could call for a snap election should be ready for the elections because there shall be no deferment of the general elections.
“Those who are scared of having elections are people like Mr Kabimba whose vanity project, the Rainbow Party, has not participated in any election from its birth.
Elections are not organized by newspapers and the newspaper building the image of Mr Kabimba is not part of ECZ. President Lungu and the PF are looking forward to having elections next year.
As has been said, evil gimmicks and theatrics have one common denominator, which is that they have no sustainability,” Mr Chanda said.