EMOTIONAL outbursts by United Progressive People (UPP) leader Saviour Chishimba in the wake of President Edgar Lungu’s proclamation of a threatened state of emergency border on defamation of the President.

It is clear that Dr Chishimba, just like many other disgruntled opposition political party leaders, has blatantly failed to distinguish between President Lungu as an individual and the presidency.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Dr. Chishimba makes wild allegations personally criticizing  President Edgar Lungu in utter disrespect of the office he occupies.

It is rather unfortunate that Dr Chishimba has chosen to politick and not suggest practical solutions that Government should take to curb escalating lawlessness in the country.

This does not only expose worrisome levels of ignorance on what constitutes good governance but also questions the intention of opposition leaders by defending a reign of terror.

Government’s efforts to contain acts of terrorism that are gradually engulfing the country need the support of all patriotic Zambians, and not to be trivialised.

Does Dr Chishimba think invoking Article 31 is ultra-vires? Should President Lungu be ridiculed for protecting property and lives? Why should he support acts of arson, sabotage and fulfilment of Armageddon?

“The reason why I am declaring a threatened state of emergency is clear. We are coming from a situation where people were saying, if this election is not won by me, there will be mayhem, there will be Armageddon.

 “We saw what happened after elections and it has continued progressively Armageddon is coming and I should sit here smiling that it’s okay because they will say I’m a dictator.

“I’m not that dumb. I have got a job to do. So, if those people will think I am being excessive, yes allow me for once to be excessive in the interest of the Zambian people. But that excess is within the law, that’s what people need to understand.” This is what President Lungu said on Thursday when he held a press briefing at State House.

Did President Lungu say he should be allowed to be a dictator? Why is Dr Chishimba being economical with the truth? Whose interest is he serving by defaming President Lungu?

It is rather illogical for Dr Chishimba to deliberately choose to misrepresent facts in a bid to gain cheap political mileage when President Lungu legally and correctly exercised his constitutional power.

Unless Dr Chishimba has just dropped from another planet, he could be excused for displaying such sheer ignorance on unfolding progression of acts of arson, sabotage and Armageddon threatening public security in Zambia.

We are certain that objective and patriotic Zambians of good intent do not only appreciate Cabinet’s decision to invoke Article 31 to give the police officers more power to contain activities threatening public security, but also fully support the move.

Given the circumstances, President Lungu had to convene an urgent meeting to consult with Cabinet on practical measures the government needed to employ to avert the growing spate of acts of economic sabotage.

To launch scathing attacks on President Lungu’s persona is surely a misguided priority. Being in the opposition political party does not imply unreasonably opposing whatever the government does even when it is well intended.

Thus, it is not wise for Dr Chishimba to ridicule President Lungu for proposing measures that will bring to an end activities that have the potential to lead to a state of emergency. Are acts of arson and sabotage on ZESCO pylons not what amounts to foolishness?

We urge the police to hastily act on the complaints lodged with them by concerned members of the public on  Dr. Chishimba’s rantings. Freedom of expression ceases when it injures other people’s human rights.

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