PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has asked the clergy in the country to pray for him and other political leaders who want assume office.
The Head of State also said that he is ready for dialogue with any opposition leader as long as it is issue based.
Speaking today when he hosted the Reformed Church in Zambia leadership at State House this morning, President Lungu said dialogue is of utmost importance amongst political players provided that it is issue based.
President Lungu said he has always been willing to meet stakeholders to discuss substantive issues such as COVID-19 or elections.
“You should pray for me. Also pray for my friends who want to assume this office. I am ready to talk to the opposition. I am ready for dialogue as long as it is issue based,” President Lungu said.
He said there is nothing wrong with politicians talking to the clergy about their political ambitions but there is everything wrong with politicians dividing the clergy.
The President also implored the clergy to work with the Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Godfridah Sumaili in inculcating into the minds of citizens values of hard work rather than begging.
President Lungu says only hard work can bring back self-esteem amongst citizens.
“We need to all work hard because begging is not in our culture, it cannot be the norm, ” the President said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says at no time did he announce the daily opening of bars and night clubs and is surprised that owners of outlets have extended days of operation on their own.
President Lungu has since asked council authorities to “up their game” and ensure these outlets are only opened from Friday to Sunday as announced last year when he relaxed the guidelines to save business as the Covid-19 number of cases slowed down.
He said while vaccines have been produced in various countries, the health measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands with soap, remain the primary prevention methods at the moment.
President Lungu has urged transport operators to ensure passengers on their buses wore masks and observed social distancing.
“We must all be advocates of prevention of covid-19, it is not just for the Head of State to advocate, it is for all of us, covid-19 is a real killer, ” the President said.
And Reformed Church in Zambia Synod Moderator Reverend Ackson Banda says the church and Government are partners because they draw their members from the same constituents.
Reverend Banda said the Reformed Church in Zambia appreciate the President’s love for the church as he has been meeting various clergy.
The delegation also praised President Lungu’s timely efforts where disasters are happening across the country.
Reverend Sumaili, Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr Simon Miti and Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs acting Permanent Secretary, Tobias Chomba, accompanied the President to the meeting.
General Secretary, Dr William Zulu, Dr Clement Mwanza, Reverends John Phiri, Daniel Banda, and Eneless Chabinga, among others, accompanied Reverend Banda to the meeting.
This is according to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe.
(Picture by THOMAS NSAMA)
President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.
This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.
Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.
Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.
“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.
“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.
“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.
The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.
The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.
He further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.
However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.
He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)
Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.
The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.
The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.
When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.
In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
DPP wants more punishment for CK
THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.
On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.
This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.
After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.
But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.
Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..
“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.
I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)