KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has advised opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema to stop maligning Zambia in the eyes of the international community.
Mr Hichilema has continued his claim that he was robbed of victory in last yearâ€™s presidential election. He reiterated his claim recently when he met a Commonwealth delegation.
But President Lungu has said through his special assistant for press and public relations, Amos Chanda, that Mr Hichilemaâ€™s incessant whining about his loss in the August 2016 general elections is only making him more unpopular among Zambians, including his supporters.
Mr Chanda said at a news briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Mr Hichilemaâ€™s conduct is taking him away from the people and that his own supporters are losing confidence in him.
He said it is â€œextremely unfortunateâ€ and insincere for Mr Hichilema to continue insinuating that election victory was stolen from him when he just lost to President Lungu who was a more popular candidate.
â€œMr Hichilema has been asked many times to explain the number of votes stolen from him, from where and in which province.
â€œHe knows that PF [Patriotic Front] won elections in Eastern, Muchinga, Luapula, Copperbelt, Lusaka and Northern provinces,â€ Mr Chanda said.
He wondered how Mr Hichilema, who narrowly won in three provinces (out of 10) could claim that the victory was stolen from him by President Lungu, who won overwhelmingly in six provinces.
He said Mr Hichilemaâ€™s illusion of the election outcome is making him unpopular among Zambians.
â€œPresident Lungu and the PF won the 2016 presidential and general elections in six provinces and the election monitoring teams that were in the country, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, did not dispute the outcome of the elections,â€ Mr Chanda said.
He said the statement that Mr Hichilema is alleged to have given the Commonwealth Secretariat delegation that was visiting Zambia, is unfortunate.
Mr Hichilema is alleged to have said his party leadership restrained its youth supporters from rioting to reclaim his â€œstolen victoryâ€ in the aftermath of the August 2016 elections.
But Mr Chanda said it was unfortunate that Mr Hichilema has continued to exhibit his unpatriotic behaviour of not accepting that he genuinely lost the election to President Lungu and the PF.
He also said Mr Hichilema has continued misleading the international community that there is political tension in the country.
Mr Chanda said political tension exists only in Mr Hichilemaâ€™s mind and in those of his supporters and allies who are still bitter about losing the elections.
â€œGovernment is ready to avail the Commonwealth Secretariat with reports from all monitoring teams that observed the elections, including its own report. We have nothing to hide from the international community,â€ he said.
KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka