Defence Minister Edgar Lungu says he gave up the instruments of power entrusted to him by late President Michael Sata for the sake of preserving Zambia’s peace and order.
Mr. Lungu, who had been acting Republican President before Vice President Guy Scott assumed the role following the death of President Sata, says he cherishes the people of Zambia so much that he could not risk a possible bloodshed that would have happened had he held on to the instruments of power and remained acting President.
He says this is because after President Sata died, two power bases emerged with one centred around Article 38(2) of the constitution upon which Dr. Scott is now acting President and Article 39 (1) under which he was appointed acting President by President Sata before he died.
Speaking to Qfm News in an interview shortly after he attended the laying of wreaths ceremony for the funeral of the late republican President in Lusaka yesterday, Mr. Lungu, who is also Justice Minister and the ruling Patriotic Front’s Secretary General, has wondered what would have happened had he held on to power on the basis of Article 39 of the constitution.
Mr. Lungu states that the current situation the country finds itself in is an example of the story in the bible in the book of 1 Kings Chapter 3 verses 16-28 where the real mother of the child which was about to be cut into two asked King Solomon to preserve the life of the child by giving it to the other woman who claimed the child was hers when in fact not.
He has charged that if therefore power is in the wrong hands, it should be so for now as the country is still mourning the late republican President.
Mr. Lungu says this is especially that only three months remain before the Presidential by-election for the country to elect a new President.
And Mr. Lungu has maintained he is equal to the task of being Zambia’s republican President depending on the support and trust that is bestowed on him.
He however, notes that he does not think this is the time to talk about power or transition, but is time to mourn, respect the late President as well as reflect on what he stood for.
Mr Lungu says there is need to put President Sata to rest with dignity before talking about the succession in the ruling party.
He adds that he is personally not worried about who succeeds President Sata as his interest is the late President’s vision and who in particular will carry it as Mr. Sata himself intended it to be.
Mr Lungu says being one of the people that bought into President Sata’s vision, he is of the view that this means that the ruling Patriotic Front will have to choose the best in order to ensure that the late President’s vision is seen through.
Reporting by Lazarous Sichula