Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi says she would rather stand alone than be surrounded by a battalion of unfaithful soldiers like her immediate passed Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza.

And Nawakwi says the Patriotic Front government has strangled the country’s economy because of it’s failure to stand by the party manifesto which spells out lower taxes, more jobs and more money in people’s pockets among other pronouncements.

Meanwhile, Nawakwi has charged that the PF and its allies have changed the route for the transportation of illegal mukula from the Livingstone and Siavonga routes to the Sioma route in North Western Province, in order to avoid vigilant youths in Lusaka.

Speaking when she featured a Radio Christian Voice programme dubbed “Chat Back” yesterday, Nawakwi said PF wanted to destroy FDD because it was a very strong party.

“FDD is a very strong party that’s why the government is coming over to our offices and poaching party functionaries, even today I know that they want to organise former councillors who stood in the 2016 elections and say they’ve defected from FDD to PF. But if we were not a strong party then why would the ruling party want to destroy a party that is non-existent and is of no consequence? It’s because they know. You know the Bible says that you don’t need an army when God is on your side and the essence behind what is happening is that God is cleaning up FDD because he doesn’t want you to be near people who may not even carry you through to your goal. So they will go, some will defect, some will take a job and that is the way,” Nawakwi said.

“But the most important thing to know is that when people open their mouths and start to say that ‘I am PF’, I think they should look at history of consistence, resilience and basically of a principled position. You must know that the company we keep is very important and even when people tell me that you are a lone soldier, I am alone for a reason and most of all, who needs a battalion of unfaithful soldiers? Because they will just betray you when you need them. The problem we have in Zambia is that we have so many politicians who are moving from one green party to another like red locusts on empty stomachs. If tomorrow I am President you will see people moving from PF to FDD, if tomorrow Hakainde is President you will see how many people are going to beg him to join UPND. So what Mwanza is doing is just trying to show that he’s working and we wish him well. I am sure there are other politicians who have come and gone before. He is a young man and we wish to be very kind and wish him very very well since he’s found a home and he should be seen to be working.”

Nakwakwi said that the PF had destroyed the country’s economy and that Zambia would soon be on its knees.

“PF has strangled this economy in the most insensitive manner. Just look, we are still fighting the impact of cholera and people are still crying because they have no where to go. What type of a government is this when it’s people are crying just after sending their children to school and then you couple that with increased bus fares [because] everybody knows that when you increase the fuel price, the first impact will be on that poor person getting on a bus. Already there are people who walk from Goerge Compound to go to [Kenneth Kaunda International] Airport for work because they can’t afford to get on a bus and then you add more? Aba abanensu manifesto yabo basumine ati nabaicita shroud pantu (Our colleagues in PF should just confess that they have shrouded their manifesto because) what they used to tell us was ‘if you vote us into government then there will be lower taxes’ but are the taxes lower today?” Nawakwi asked.

“They said they would reduce fuel prices but that is not what is happening, they promised more money in people’s pockets but there are only cockroaches in people’s pockets today. Can they not just admit that their manifesto is shrouded so that we know that they have failed? Because there is no way these people can be collecting even something that a poor person is holding on to in their hand and then you tell them that it’s tax. This is a party in government which came with very good hopes but they have failed. I can tell you that this government is going to be put on it’s knees with these draconian measures which government is putting in place without thinking. I don’t know if it’s the IMF spanning them and saying ‘we will not give you money unless you increase electricity’.

Meanwhile, Nawakwi observed that government agents had identified a different route for the transportation of illegal mukula logs.

“The last time I was here we were talking about Mukula and I can tell you that in the last few days, they [PF] have stopped using the main line to Livingstone and Siavonga, they are now using Sioma route from North Western Province, escorted by paramilitary. Trucks [of mukula] are moving from North Western Province to export mukula. Now, me I want to know honestly to God in heaven, what type of leaders are we? There is an outcry to stop the export of mukula but now they are using another route where the eyes of Lusaka can not see and the ZNS officers are exporting. Last time they told us that this mukula was confiscated from Mporokoso and whatever other places but where has ZAFFICO confiscated this consignment from? And these are some of the issues you should be able to sit [as government] and say ‘friends, there is an outcry, an outcry about hunger so want do we do?’ There is an outcry about export of products which Zambians are saying we can benefit and if we did our businesses properly, we don’t have to suffer by the increase in fuel because we can finance those,” said Nawakwi.