BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi
PRESIDENT Lungu has called for peaceful and issue-based campaigns ahead of the September 24 Solwezi West parliamentary by-election.
And President Lungu has warned that he will not allow bickering over campaign funds for the Solwezi West parliamentary by-election.
The President said there is no need for bloodshed during campaigns in the run-up to the Solwezi West parliamentary by-election as the case was in Mufumbwe in 2012.
â€œI am not worth dying for as Edgar Lungu neither is our [Patriotic Front parliamentary] candidate Martin Mbaya,â€ President Lungu said.
Speaking on arrival at Solwezi Airport yesterday, the head of State said the people of North-Western Province should blame themselves for the terrible record of violence which characterised the Mufumbwe parliamentary by-election in which Stephen Masumba emerged victorious.
President Lungu urged political parties participating in the by-election to campaign peacefully and to conduct issue-based campaigns.
â€œFor me and the PF, we have chosen peace and we will respect peopleâ€™s views,â€ President Lungu said.
He is, however, happy that those who were not adopted to contest the Solwezi West parliamentary seat on the PF ticket have agreed to support and work with Mr Mbaya.
He assured the candidates who were not adopted to believe in God and to know that their time was coming.
â€œI am a firm believer in God and to all my colleagues who wanted to stand on the PF ticket, let me assure you that the party is watching you and your time is coming because Godâ€™s time is the best and who knew that one day I would be President,â€ President Lungu said.
He urged Mr Mbaya to work with all members in North- Western Province to help grow the party in the region.
â€œThose who will refuse to work with us let them go because that is democracy,â€ President Lungu said.
And President Lungu has implored the PF leadership in North-Western Province to be accountable to the electorate and to ensure that campaign funds reach the grassroots.
President Lungu said he would not allow conflicts over funds for campaigns in the Solwezi West parliamentary by-election.
â€œTake this as a serious warning,â€ Mr Lungu said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu said the Solwezi West parliamentary by-election is not meant to change Government but to elect a member of Parliament (MP).
He advised people who have kick-started campaigns for the 2016 general elections to hold on.
President Lungu said the only elections taking place for now are in Solwezi West and Lubansenshi constituencies and some ward elections.
He also said he is preoccupied with developing Zambia and he has no time to listen to detractors who are busy campaigning for the presidency
â€œCampaigns my brothers and sisters are very expensive and I have not yet declared the date for the election and I will not waste time on campaigns because I am busy developing the country,â€ he said.
President Lungu said when time for campaigns start, he will let the nation know so that people can apply themselves fully
The President also said he is concentrating on making peace within the PF ranks.
He said his administration is committed to delivering development to the people of North-Western Province and will complete all road projects in the region.
â€œRoads cannot be done in one day like some people are saying that we made pronouncements but nothing is happening,â€ he said.
And Patriotic Front (PF) North- Western Province PF chairman Emmanuel Chihili assured President Lungu that all is well in the province despite some â€œcry babyâ€ politicians who are afraid of the ruling party.
Mr Chihili said it is unfortunate that some politicians have gone on rampage to claim that the PF bribed MMD Solwezi West parliamentary candidate Fordson Malishinyi to withdraw his candidature from the Solwezi- West parliamentary by-election.
President Lungu flew into Solwezi in the company of Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula, Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Michael Kaingu, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma and Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Joseph Katema.
The delegation w a s welcomed by North-Western Province minister Dawson Kafwaya, permanent secretary Amos Malupenga and senior Government and PF officials.
President Lungu is today expected in Zambezi to grace the annual Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony.
BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi