We have seen insinuations and attempts to drag the Republican President, Hakainde Hichilema, into the ongoing PF leadership wrangles, especially following the expulsion of nine of their Members of Parliament.

It has never been President Hichilema’s interest to interfere in how other political parties conduct their business. One of the strongest pillars of this President is his commitment to order and the rule of law in the country.

President Hichilema’s views on by-elections are well known. He has repeatedly called on stakeholders to come on board and make recommendations on how this issue can be addressed to avoid them and save resources.

The PF exercised its legal and constitutional rights to expel their members from Parliament according to the provisions of their party constitution. They later took these matters to the courts, where decisions were made that resulted in the expulsion of their nine MPs.

Therefore, when a decision such as this results from the PF’s self-inflicted wrangles, the President’s hands are extremely tied despite his personal views against by-elections. There is no way the President can interfere with the independent arms of government, such as Parliament and the Judiciary.

If he were to attempt to interfere with the provisions of the constitution, the same people accusing him would turn around and accuse him again. So far, the President has demonstrated willingness and courage to push for reforms in legislation he is uncomfortable with, such as defamation of the President and abolishing the death penalty.

These are laws that did not require constitutional amendments, but those regarding by-elections are beyond him as they require consensus from many stakeholders to address the numerous lacunas in the current constitution that they themselves admitted to signing with their eyes closed.

As far as we are concerned, the internal fights between the PF factional Presidents are historical from the time of the demise of the late President Michael Sata (MHSRP).

Whether they fight, reconcile, fight again, and then turn to the courts for arbitration, President Hichilema has no business with that. They should resolve their issues and leave the Republican President out of it.

President Hichilema is currently busy resolving more serious national issues created by the same people that are currently wrangling among themselves.

Clayson Hamasaka
Chief Communications Specialist
State House

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