United Party for National Development Secretary General Stephen Katuka says the Patriotic Front is lying about creating over a million jobs since 2011 because there is no evidence to that effect.
And Katuka says PF has not penetrated into the UPND strongholds as they claim and they should forget about scooping the Chilanga parliamentary seat.
On Labour Day, PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza claimed his party had created 1,026,746 jobs since it was elected into office in 2011.
But in an interview, Katuta said if that were true, there wouldn’t have been so many unemployed youths roaming the streets.
“Have you seen the jobs they are talking about? It cannot be directly but indirectly you can see how people are living in a country. The jobs they are talking about are shoddy jobs that end within 2 weeks or 3 months. Otherwise we could have seen those jobs. Maybe tell me, have you seen any of your friends, or relatives or just some people you know get jobs from the PF government? Have we directly or indirectly benefitted from the jobs they are talking about? Because some of these things it doesn’t have to be you benefitting directly. It could be just some people you know. When we compare notes on a daily basis you will, you should atleast say I know of someone who get a job from the newly created jobs by the PF. Because 1 million plus jobs are a lot of jobs. You can even feel the impact of those jobs,” Katuka said.
“But we can’t confirm that there are any jobs that have been created. Those are inflated figures, they are inflating numbers. And all they want is to deceive Zambians that they have created jobs. People are getting worse off than before. The living conditions are getting worse than before, even for those that are in employment, it’s just that they have to survive, but they are worse off. Otherwise there are slave wages and they are not worth talking about. So, the one million plus jobs is an exaggeration, they haven’t created those jobs. Because one million jobs alone are a lot of jobs. That’s a lot of jobs and everyone would feel that impact in one way or another. But the jobs they are talking about are those shoddy jobs, the ones that are not even decent. The ones that end just after two weeks, or one month or three months and you have to be a crook to call those jobs. It’s these jobs of a road contracts where you are laborers lifting picks and hoes and those are not jobs worth talking about. They shouldn’t be counted.”
Katuka observed that the PF had devalued education.
“Because of the PF government, for the first time in the history of Zambia we have devalued our qualification. Grade twelve certificate now is a nothing. In my time, when you completed grade 12, you were assured of getting a decent job to be proud of or go to a decent college or into the army. But for now, the boys who are sweeping the streets or digging with hoes around cities have grade twelve certificates. That is what this government has done. That’s indirectly devaluing the qualification. The workers in most of these hotels and lodges are grade twelves, some with diplomas. So that is an indirect way of devaluing our qualification. But now even to get into the army is not easy at all. People are not even getting into the army they are recruiting through the back door. Relatives to those senior officers are the ones who getting those jobs. And they don’t even advertise, those days they used to advertise. This is all because of fake promises from the PF government. These guys are liars,” he said.
Meanwhile, Katuka said the PF had not penetrated UPND strongholds as they were claiming.
“We do not brag over elections ourselves. I believe election is a process and the decision of the people is final. But for them, you know that in the last by-election which was our bedroom? Otherwise North-Western they didn’t enter. We reclaimed our seat there. And I think its elections, the results of elections are known after the people have voted and votes have been counted. So, you don’t count your ticket before the hatch. For us we have to wait for the final result then we know who has taken Chilanga, and who has taken which ward. To start saying you have already entered the bedroom even before you get in, is premature. Unless you have what I would call some other spirit that you are using or strategy you are using that is unknown to everybody else,” said Katuka.
“Otherwise, the final word comes from the masses. So it’s the voters who will decide who will be the first candidate and who will be left. So in an election you only declare yourself a winner after the counting of the votes. But before that you can’t say we have already won in Chilanga, you don’t know what will happen. Where I come from they say the mind of another person is a far distant place its like you takin about something that is happening in Mwinilunga. For me in Lusaka I can’t know because I am not in Mwinilunga. So, you have to wait until you get in Mwinilunga then you know what is on the ground in Mwinilunga. On the Chilanga seat the PF should just calm down. Tell them to calm down because if they will have hope of winning there, they maybe disappointed. They have already started talking about winning. I think they should come down and wait for the election.”