Kabwe Central member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says very soon, PF will have no one in State House because the party has been lying to citizens, making all sorts of promises and failing to fulfill them. He is afraid that people will hit back at the PF government by voting according to the number of failed promises. Mr Ngulube warns that as a consequence of not fulfilling promises, the PF is at high risk of losing power.
This statement has sent the PF leadership in shock. They thought they had succeeded in silencing Mr Ngulube after he reaffirmed his loyalty to President Edgar Lungu two months ago. In fact they are accusing us of publishing falsehood because they are convinced that there is no way the Kabwe MP could have said what we quoted.
On Monday when we published this story in our print edition of News Diggers! Mr Ngulube who had not seen our paper called to ask if we added things that he did not say to his story, because apparently, some ministers felt he was insulting the President and betraying the party. When we ran him through what was contained in the story, he stood by his statement and saw nothing wrong with what he said.
For the benefit of those who missed Mr Ngulube’s warning to the Patriotic Front, here is a summary of it.
“Honestly speaking, there is nothing for the youths to celebrate at the moment. Last year, the President made a lot of pronouncements, including the 500 thousand jobs within five years. We hoped we would begin to see at least one job every month but as you have seen, most of the projects have stalled, contractors who used to employ our youths are not working and as a result, we are not moving forward.
Our youths countrywide have a lot of talent, skills and labour, but government’s support is minimal. The Ministry of Youth and Sport also seems to be a dormant ministry, it’s dead in other words because we don’t see it working. Even when we hear all the pronouncements during Youth Day, we do not see how the national budget captures those aspirations that the youths normally have.
We have got a lot of trained teachers. But government does not employ them. Those who are trained as teachers already, what would be the explanation for not giving them jobs? There would be no proper explanation. There are youths wanting to join the Army, people wanting to join ZNS but we don’t see recruitment happening very often. The majority of Zambians today are completing Grade 12 and most of them are graduating from colleges, but we do not seem to have a policy of bringing them into the sectors to work. As a result, our youths remain languishing on the streets.
The first and most practical consequence of government not fulfilling its promises is that we lose members, when people start voting, they vote according to the promises that you made. So if you don’t actualise your promises, you risk losing power. Very soon we will have nobody in State House because the people would have actually felt that they were lied to. That is one way of hitting back at the government. So those are the consequences of not fulfilling promises.”
It is really worrying to imagine that the PF cannot see the sense in this warning from their member of parliament. How can this basic truth be construed as an insult to the President and the party?
The record is there; President Lungu promised youths hundreds of thousands of jobs, he promised to reopen Mulungushi Textiles (and even pretended to launch its grand opening before the 2015 elections) but he was fooling the youths. Thousands of young Zambians today have completed school, thousands have graduated from colleges, but there are no jobs. The companies which are supposed to employ these youths are instead closing. As a result of these fake promises, the youths are eager to remove the PF from State House.
These are the observations that Mr Ngulube was making. If he was lying, we are willing to publish the argument from any PF officials that can prove this observation wrong. Let the PF tell the nation if Mulungushi Textiles in Mr Ngulube’s constituency is open today and how many youths it has employed.
But we know why the PF is confused with the politics that Tutwa Ngulube is playing. They are used to having dunderhead MPs who can’t think or act on personal principles. PF likes ukwalola umwela MPs; if President Lungu says ‘there will be war in Zambia if I am stopped from standing’, they expect every member of parliament to endorse the statement. Those who distance themselves from the foolishness and condemn the threats on Constitutional Court judges are considered traitors who are not loyal to the President.
We applaud Mr Ngulube for being brave to call the PF lies by their name. He might not be very popular in the PF because even when debating in Parliament, he is frank. But he must continue on that path, keeping in mind that he is not a parliamentary representative for the PF youths only. Kabwe is a cosmopolitan town politically. When it comes to speaking for the people, it doesn’t matter who sent him to parliament, he is an MP for all Kabwe residents. Their interests should be his primary concern and not the interests of President Lungu. If he takes that position, he can be assured that even if the PF expelled him for speaking the truth, he will bounce back in Parliament.
Like Mr Ngulube rightly observed, soon there will be no PF in State House because the youths are angry with them. They voted for PF in 2011, but the PF has voted for the MMD back in power and given away the jobs to foreigners. We hope the acting President Mr Davies Chama will remember to deliver this message to the State House tenant when he returns from wherever he went after leaving Botswana; these youths will haunt PF in 2021.