Don’t hide behind accusing us of politicising Cholera so that we don’t talk about your failures, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has told Patriotic Front officials.
And Hichilema says if Patriotic Front officials knew the importance of planning, no life would have been lost to cholera.
Reacting to Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo’s allegations that he incited the Kanyama riots at a media briefing today, HH said hunger caused the riots.
“You can’t contain Cholera and you are now causing death trough hunger because our people have no food.
Riots occurred because the source of livelihood has been taken away from them. It is a fact that the anger that we saw yesterday arises from taking our people away from income opportunities. PF have been largely behind creating of these unsanitary trading environments for years. The reason why our people trade in these environments is because of the absence of opportunities or alternatives in terms of jobs. How many children leave college and get a job? Very few. So even families that have employable children are not in employment because this government has failed to create employment opportunities, worse still, if you want to do genuine business, they don’t have that opportunity to engage in other businesses because the economy under the PF is not generating those business opportunities,” HH said.
“Their chipante pante policies are partially responsible for the problems that we have. We recognise that but we still went and helped to save the lives of our people. Yes, we must fight cholera, which could have been avoided but we must also provide remedies to the core reasons that have brought us this cholera first.”
And HH observed that had the Cholera vaccine been administered in good time, no life would have been lost.
“That cholera vaccine should have been administered a year ago but it is being administered now, where is the planning? Where is the thinking where is the management, where is the leadership? Where is it?” HH asked.
“I don’t have to answer that question. You can answer it for yourselves. We wouldn’t have lost lives. And they can’t stop us from talking about these issues. And most of the resources meant for public health have been diverted to private pockets through corruption. Is that not true? So don’t shut us up. Don’t hide behind accusing us of politicising cholera so that we don’t talk about your failures.”
HH also provided recommendations on how to prevent cholera in future; among them that all public toilets must be free.
He also appealed to government to stop breaking people’s stands as they would need them once allowed to trade.
“Why do you break the only asset someone has? Just a table where they display their merchandise and you are breaking. We don’t blame the military men because that is the instruction they are given. We are telling the Ministry of Local Government to stop breaking tables. They will need to trade after Cholera is over so where will they start from?” asked HH.
“If the merchandise is infected, in a proper government, for us in the UPND, we would be working out measures to compensate the marketeers. We are demanding compensation for the marketeers on their merchandise…and we are saying from today, all public toilets must be free. It is worthwhile bringing back stolen money from corruption to fund the cleaning of toilets.”