People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says the Patriotic Front government has no other message to give the Zambian people apart from road construction, which is the only thing they know.

And Banda says there is need for drastic transformation and restructuring of government ministries in the way they operate if the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) is to be properly implemented.

Speaking when he appeared on a Diamond TV show dubbed Costa on Sunday evening, Banda said Zambia was in a crisis, explaining that the PF government had misplaced priorities with no proper plan and that they were running the country like it were on auto pilot.

“We are in a very big crisis as a country because the PF is running this country like it’s on auto pilot. You may be aware that the cost of almost everything has gone up including, tomato. This reminds me of that song we used to sing in 2001 where we used to say ‘tomato, tomato balunda…’ The reason is because the PF do not believe in structures, they don’t believe in structuring whatever it is that they are doing because institutions must be structured in order to move with time,” Banda said.

“Then another worrying thing is their appetite for expenditure, it’s like they have no other ideas outside construction. There is a lot of money that you can make in the service industry; we can support small business in the service industry. Then also the idea of only supporting PF-aligned companies, that is what is killing this economy. We need to create space for every person, whether someone is PF or not and that’s the only way we are going to be strong.”

He said the current debt crisis that the country had found itself in was due to PF’s misplaced priorities and insatiable appetite for borrowing.

“When you have a debt like this, there is need to cut down on costs. One thing the PF failed to do was to do research of where the roads are really needed. When you invest money, for example, if there is a road in Kalabo that’s really needed and there is an economic activity in Kalabo, you need to create a road there so that there is convenience for business people and goods and services, not just creating roads anyhow. These roads we are putting in Lusaka and a few other places…they do not really channel the infrastructure development based on the demand in certain areas,” Banda narrated.

“So, I think these are misplaced priorities and it was not an emergency to say that everything we needed was just roads. Of course, roads were needed in many places but it was not supposed to be like this where we built so many rods and then got into debt.”

And Banda added that the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) is a brilliant blueprint, but advised that there was need for sanity in government ministries if the plan was to be properly implemented.

“I have gone through that document, it is part of the solution [to the problems this country is facing] but it also depends on how it’s going to be implemented because speaking is one thing but implementation is something else. To implement a plan, there is a lot of restructuring that needs to be done. There is need to get people that are performing in government; there is need to fight corruption because no matter how good an idea you are going to have, it won’t reach the intended purpose if there is corruption on the way,” explained Banda.

“There is need also to have drastic transformation in government ministries in the way they operate so that the 7NDP can actually fit in properly. But I think the problem we have as a country is that we have not really changed systems from where they were before. So, there are a lot of things that can be put in place with the information age that we are living in.”