KABWE Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube has warned that the ruling party will face an embarrassing defeat in 2021 if it ignores complaints from its general membership.

And Ngulube says the divisions in the party have left so many people sidelined, adding “even myself as MP, I can’t remember the last time when I met with the President”.

Speaking to News Diggers! on Tuesday, Ngulube said PF lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube was right to propose a national Indaba.

“I think it’s inevitable that when there are problems like what is happening, people must meet and analyse what the problem is. I think that the Indaba talked about by Mr Fube is long overdue. If you remember, from 2011 when the PF had a convention, the only other time when the PF came together as a party was in 2015 when we were electing a candidate to stand as President. From that time up to now, the PF has never met,” Ngulube said.

“So I think it’s important that we begin to sit down and analyse the things being talked about out there. For example, we can talk about these corruption allegations, we can also talk about the complaints from the general membership; the rising complaints where members are saying that the government has neglected them, so we can talk about those things. Members of parliament like myself, I can’t remember the last time when I met with the President, I need to put things straight forward as well.”

He said it was sad that the PF promised people lower taxes, but the opposite was happening.

“If you look at the complaints we have right now, complaint number one is the fact that the issue of lower taxes has been forgotten. We have forgotten about the lower taxes because electricity just last year went up three times, fuel went up three times. You see? Everything apart from mealie meal has gone up three times. The farmers are saying government has not given them the inputs, so those are some of the things that we can table at the Indaba. The people must understand why electricity has gone up, the people must understand why government has introduced tax on cement, that K2 per bag of cement. The people must understand why everything seems to be shooting up when we were telling them that it’s lower taxes, more jobs and more money in their pockets,” said Ngulube.

“So those are some of the things I think personally as a member of Parliament we need an Indaba for, to discuss some of those issues and agree to disagree because we are one family. As one family, members of the party must wake each other up. When you think my brother here is not looking, [I should be able to say], ‘brother, here there is a way we can use so let’s not use this route or the other’.”

He feared that the ruling party would lose in 2021 if they went into it divided.

“At the end of the day most of the people feel they have been sidelined. So when we wake up for elections and start running back to the people, it might either be too late or the people might already have decided that they are not interested in what we will be telling them. So to avoid an embarrassing defeat in 2021, let us give the people an ear, let’s listen to the complaints on the ground,” said Ngulube.