Nkana PF member of parliament Alexander Chiteme says there is a “job mania” on the Copperbelt.
And Chiteme says Non Governmental Organisations must praise government when things are going well in the country the same way they are quick to criticize when prices of goods and services go up.
Speaking on Radio Phoenix’s Chat Back programme today, Chiteme boasted that the Copperbelt was experiencing a job mania owing to the ongoing projects.
“When it comes to the welfare of the people, you are seeing the PF delivering its promises and the cardinal thing that people keep asking, ‘where if the PF going, is the PF giving us jobs?’ yes, the PF is giving us jobs. Copperbelt we are in a job mania now because we have projects that are running that will give us close to 5,000 jobs. For example, the Copperbelt International Airport which AVIC has started constructing now, the good news is that that land was owned by people, our own people on the Copperbelt, we negotiated with them, we compensated them, we didn’t chase anyone. You would also wish to be one of those people whom we compensated because we compensated them handsomely. What we did, we were just flying over the other day in a chopper and you can already see the beauty of the work that is being done. That is about half a million , $530 million worth of a project and we are looking at 4,000 jobs right on the Copperbelt in Ndola,” Chiteme said.
“PF is loved. On the Copperbelt for example, people were complaining about roads but the listening government laiunched the C400 in Chingola and the following day we started building the road. Now we are going to have a Copperbelt that looks like Lusaka because everywhere I go in Lusaka, there is a road, there is a clinic that has been developed into a level one hospital.”
He also said President Edgar Lungu was in touch with the grassroots and prioritized their needs.
“If there was ever a government which looked into the poor people, it is this government which is backed by our manifesto. I am going to give you an example, unfortunately this example will hinge on the President. The President has always sorted the poor first. When our mothers didn’t have capital, the President took 10 per cent of his salary and said let us give this to them under the Presidential Initiative, tell me which other President has done that? Our women have received money through the presidential empowerment. Whenever there is a cause, the President has to be there, no wonder people are even laughing at us that the president went to open Chisokone Shelter, it is because the President is in touch with the poor and the government. So when you say that the party is not in touch with the poor, that is a statement which lacks truth,” Chiteme said.
He also disagreed with critics who felt road projects were not a priority saying good roads reduced the cost of doing business.
“Yes, imisebo shena twalashilya (Yes, we will eat roads). Today, unlike yesterday when my mother would go buy tomatoes on a broken down road, on a Canter that would not get to Chisokone or City Market the same day, today my mother will sell more boxes of tomatoes because she can go back and forth within a few hours because the road network is clear, she can bring in the tomatoes cheaper so yes, imisebo shena, twalashilya,” Chiteme said.
And Chiteme wondered why NGOs were not praising the PF over the improved economic indicators the way they aggressively condemned the administration when things were bad.
“I have seen a lot of NGOs who are very consistent when it comes to blaming the PF, when our dollar was sky rocketing, when we had load shedding, when fuel went up, these NGOs came out with guns shooting everywhere saying ‘the PF is bad, people are not benefitting anything’, today we have the mealie meal price going down, I can walk into Shoprite and buy my mealie meal for K36, K45, where are the NGOs? Let them leave the umbrella of Non Governmental and face us head on. Because you cannot be an NGO that is going to criticize when things are not going well for the party and then when things are going well, you go mute! Why aren’t talking about mealie meal? Why aren’t they talking about fuel now that prices have gone down?” asked Chiteme.