President Edgar Lungu took a dig at his critics on his occasion to host the Under-20 national team saying some of them had not recovered from the acrimony of campaigns.
A light spirited Lungu said some people have refused to accept he was President despite having won the elections.
"You have brought joy at a time that the country is still undergoing some division. I am saying this because some people have not recovered from the acrimony of elections," he said.
"Some people are not used to losing elections; I have lost before I know how it feels. Kulabapepelakofye (just pray for them)."
President Lungu said he could smile because he could not lose sleep over challenges to his leadership.
"I should smile at your achievement because I am the President. Very few people say I am not the President," he said in apparent reference to the opposition United Party for National Development that has been repeatedly refusing to acknowledge his victory in elections.
The Head of State also had a note to parliamentarians who were present at the event by alluding to their appetite for allowances.
"I will not take long because there are Members of Parliament. I know you want to go and get your allowances," he said.
President Lungu also advised the Under-20 that they should never rush into signing hurried contracts.
"Do not rush into signing contracts that have been dangled on you but seek advice from coaches, managers, parents and guardians," he said.