UPP leader Saviour Chishimba says President Edgar Lungu’s State of the Nation address left Zambians in suspense because it lacked details of the exact status of Zambia’s economy.
And Chishimba says Presidents do not lament, they act.
In an interview, Chishimba noted that the address lacked fundamental details involving key sectors of the economy.
“Let me just put it like this, the State of the Nation address is a very serious Constitutional obligation which should be taken seriously and with a great sense of responsibility. While we in the UPP appreciate the courage by President Edgar Lungu to address the nation, we note with concern that he did not really go into details of what is before our nation; we expected President Lungu to give specific details on the health status of the people of Zambia, we expected the President to give the people of Zambia statistics on the rate of unemployment, he didn’t do that and that is a very important area,” Chishimba said.
“We also expected him to tell us the state of the economy, the Zambian economy, and we expected him to tell us about the level of indebtedness in our nation and what government is doing to repay all those debts and at the same time to boost economic activities in the nation, which is very important for growth. We expected the President to talk about agriculture in details to let the people of Zambia know why the farming inputs were not only supplied late but were also inadequate and we expected the President to talk about the looming hunger crisis in the nation which has led to many people ending up on the streets. We needed him to give details on the state of the nation in terms of the number of Zambian children who are accessing education as well as not accessing education because we need to know.”
And Chishimba wondered why President Lungu lamented on certain issues when he had the power to change things.
“We expected the President to talk about corruption in a more detailed way. There are many cases of corruption in our country so we wanted him to come out clean and clear for that matter on why corruption has sky rocketed during his reign. The President of Zambia is not an ordinary person, he holds the instruments of power and the people of Zambia know that those instruments are for use, they are not for prestige, no! It is not right therefore for the President to go to Parliament and raise a lamentation because Presidents don’t do that, they act, so we wanted him to tell Zambians what he has already done to stop that, there is no way he can saying he has told the ministers to act because ministers work under his instructions,” Chishimba said.
“He must observe and act and he didn’t tell us what he has done apart from saying ‘I am now directing the minister of land to bring a revised Act to cabinet’ so there is a problem with that because he is only saying he has observed without telling us what he has done meaning that he has let the country now to be on autopilot where things must just happen on their own.”
He said if he were President, he would have stopped the illegal sale of land.
“If I had been in his shoes, by now I would have spoken to chiefs and I would have stopped that practice of selling land to foreigners because that is what they are doing and that’s corruption and the fight against corruption does to exclude anyone. If a chief is corrupt, he or she must be visited by the law because chiefs don’t have immunity against prosecution like the President himself, they are not above the law so if the President has seen some criminalities in land administration affecting the traditional leaders, we expect him to give us the list of those traditional leaders, that is why am saying the President must speak with specific details with indications on what he has done about it because the President is not just there to observe things,” said Chishimba.