Zam­bian op­po­si­tion puts pres­sure on Lungu to quit

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LUSAKA — Zam­bia’s op­po­si­tion leader Hakainde Hichilema has in­creased pres­sure on newly-elected Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu to step down, claim­ing that he was us­ing state ma­chin­ery to ef­fect a coup d’état in the coun­try.

The op­po­si­tion leader made his ut­ter­ances in the wake of a pe­ti­tion that was filed by his United Party for Na­tional De­vel­op­ment (UPND) on Fri­day, cit­ing that there were sev­eral ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties dur­ing the coun­try’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tions on Au­gust 11.

Re­ports on Mon­day in­di­cated that the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Lungu had been halted pend­ing a con­sti­tu­tional court rul­ing on the poll re­sults.

Lungu de­feated the long-time op­po­si­tion leader by just less than 200 000 votes, to clinch an­other pres­i­den­tial term.

Ac­cord­ing to The Post, Hichilema al­leged that Lungu was pre­vent­ing Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Pa­trick Mat­i­b­ini from act­ing as pres­i­dent of the south­ern African coun­try. He said Mat­i­b­ini was man­dated to act as pres­i­dent.

De­spite not hav­ing been sworn in as pres­i­dent, Lungu has re­fused to step down, with Hichilema claim­ing that Lungu is act­ing to main­tain his power over the mil­i­tary and po­lice.

“So ba­si­cally, he has ef­fected a coup d’état on the per­son who is con­sti­tu­tion­ally man­dated to be act­ing pres­i­dent. There is no bet­ter way to ex­plain what Lungu has done; its a coup on Dr Pa­trick Mat­i­b­ini, the Speaker of Na­tional Assem­bly. Lungu started this coup d’état through a demo­cratic process, a long time ago, and now he has gone full throt­tle to usurp power il­le­gally,” Hichilema was quoted as say­ing. — AFP

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