Former Zambian president Guy Scotthas criticised President Edgar Lungu over the remarks he made during the recently ended United Nations summit in New York.
Lungu told the UN 71st summit last week thatAfrica did not need any strong leaders but strong institutions, adding that his country endeavoured to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society “through the consolidation” of power.
Lungu described Zambia as a democracy with an inclusive society where its people enjoyed many freedoms.
“The importance of democracy in our society cannot be over-emphasised. It is an extremely important aspect of our political systems, which empowers people to freely take part in governance.
“As you are aware, Zambia held elections on 11th August 2016. Indeed this was yet another opportunity for Zambia to prove her commitment to upholding and promoting tenents of democracy.
‘Embarrassment and hypocrisy’
“I therefore want to assure this August Assembly that my government will use its mandate to continue protecting our peaceful democratic legacy and meeting the aspirations of our people,” Lungu was quoted as saying.
But according to The Post, Scott rubbished Lungu’s utterances, saying it was sad that he could “blatantly tell untruths to the UN Summit” when he was well aware that the Zambian people were denied their rights “leading up to the presidential elections”.
Scott said it was baffling that Lungu chose to blatantly lie to the international community when he was well aware of the happenings in his country where Zambians were being denied their rights.
The former president highlighted the closure of the Post publication as an example of how the government cracked down on opposition institutions that were critical of the ruling party.
It would be remembered that Zambian authorities ordered the closure of The Post Newspapers Limited on June 21, demanding $6.1m in tax arreas.
Its closure came as election campaigning was gaining momentum, with the critically independent newspaper being outspoken in its reporting of illegal activities and corruption by the government.
The Post newspaper itself described Lungu’s speech as an “embarrassment and hypocrisy”.
The paper argued that Lungu was in no place to talk about building strong democratic institution after he destroyed the country’s judiciary, as well as the “independence and integrity of law enforcement agencies”.