UPP leader Saviour Chishimba says the Patriotic Front must pave way for early elections so that a new crop of progressive leaders can address the challenges which people are facing.

In a statement today, Saviour said the patriotism which President Edgar Lungu had been talking about entailed that he called for early elections since he had failed to find solutions to numerous challenges.

“The rising cost of food and hardships among the people of Zambia in face of the declining purchasing power of the Kwacha are public emergencies that must compel the PF regime to be patriotic enough by stepping down to pave way for early elections. Patriotism, which President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has been pontificating about, demands that when a nation is faced with new challenges to which the governing regime has no solutions, early elections must be called so that a new leadership with the right set of skills is given the chance to steer the statecraft in the right direction,” Saviour stated.

“The PF regime, which has morphed into a bunch of mafia-style corrupt elements, must learn from Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, who has called for early elections in face of BREXIT.”

He noted that the Zambian economy was headed for a meltdown.

“The economy of Zambia is evidently headed for a meltdown and the PF regime does not have a practical and pro-poor economic recovery plan. Our nation is totally bankrupt and this is purely because of the serious economic crimes of plunder that the PF Government has committed in partnership with bogus and highly corrupt Chinese contractors who have become paymasters of corruption,” Saviour stated.

“We, in the United Progressive People (UPP), are thunderstruck that at a time that the economy is in recession and the people have no money in their pockets, the PF regime has set in motion the 75 per cent upward adjustment of electricity tariffs. We also know that the Pump Price of fuel will also be increased very soon. UPP has been vindicated because we told the people of Zambia in 2016 about the intentions of the PF to increase the cost of fuel and electricity. The ultimate goal is to increase by 300%.”

Saviour claimed that government would soon sell Zesco and other state owned enterprises to their “corruption partners”.

“The next step by the PF Government is to sell Zesco to their partners in corruption who they want to make money within the shortest possible period of time. Thus, the increments are not meant to attract investment, but rather to facilitate more corruption in the energy sector. Several state owned enterprises like ZSIC, Indeni, TAZAMA, ZNBS and ZECO, among others, are still up for corrupt sales. The people of Zambia must join hands with the UPP to raise awareness on the corruption of the PF Regime and intensity the #BringBackOurMoney! anti corruption crusade,” stated Saviour.

“Over US$ 5 billion has been plundered and externalised with the help of corrupt Chinese contractors. It is against this background that we urge the PF Regime to call for early elections so that a new crop of leaders can be given an opportunity for progressive change. The call for the resignation of the PF Government is further predicated on the failure to deliver on the electoral promises of lowering taxes, creating more jobs and putting more money in the pockets of Zambians. It’s now seven years since the PF took over Government, but they are doing the opposite of what they promised to do – everything is now in reverse.”