The current PF Central Committee comprises of “appointed puppets” who can only sell loyalty to President Edgar Lungu but fail to advise him, says renowned political strategist and lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube.
And KBF says the Patriotic Front leadership has sold out Zambia to the rest of the world because of greed.
Speaking when he featured at a discussion programme on Metro radio in Lusaka, Monday, KBF observed that the President had wrong advisor and that the Central committee was full of appointed puppets who were not subjected to elections.
“The problem we are having today is that many of the members of the central committee are appointed. Now the moment you have too many people in the central committee appointed and not elected, their voice is not as strong as elected central committee members because they fear the appointing authority. So, we have puppets in the PF Central Committee. Some of these people are very new, they don’t even understand how the party was created. They are just appointees, how will they advise the President?” wondered KBF.
“That is why the President lacks credible advisers, that’s my view and I hold it in the strongest possible terms. Elections are the lifeline of any democratic dispensation, not appointments. How many elections did we have within the PF? We never had any and that’s the problem.”
He said the country was being led by a mockery of leadership.
“We must be open to criticism and we must be open to critics. We are a ruling party, we must not be scared. The current crop of politicians are a mockery to our democracy because they are not adding value, whether in Parliament or outside. They are a mockery. It’s a very unfortunate statement to make but that’s the way we are because, even at our own political level, we do not accept internal criticism. This is what we must do. We must kill that ignorance. By the way, there is that ignorance within the party. The problem is that most of the leaders have failed the people because all they want to do now is to remain in positions at whatever cost,” KBF said.
“That is the greed which has come with the current crop of politicians. That is not leadership, that is greed. And that level of greed, unfortunately has sold out our country. That level of greed sells out the nation. That’s why we are having bad contracts, that’s why we are having bad procurements, that’s why we are having lopsided budgets that do not support growth, that do not support job creation, that do not support any form of development. We are an expending culture by way of budget. We just spend. We service our loans, we service this, we service that. We can argue that [we have] done away [with] subsidies, but the budget subsidises everything anyway.”
He said the PF government allocated more money for travels than the money allocated for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because of greed.
“That’s why we have a problem with the PF manifesto. We keep diverting from the manifesto, from what we promised the people. That is where I am saying we need to prune some of the political leadership and change the course because they don’t deserve the positions they are holding. We need to start picking leaders based on their credibility, based on merit not on their tribe alone. There is a fund deliberately set aside for the constituency, CDF. How much is CDF in the budget? It’s a joke. It’s a total joke. Because if CDF in terms of monies allocated to it is much lower than the money allocated for the travels from the politicians, you have a problem. Meaning travel is more important than developing a constituency. And that’s exactly what is happening. Politicians nowadays have their own agendas; they pretend to be listening, but they are not,” KBF noted.
He reiterated that the party did not have a post-mortem following the general elections in 2016, hence the problems it was facing.
“We didn’t even have a post-mortem after the 2016 general elections. It’s very sad that we should not have our post-mortem. Things were just buried, how do you know where things went wrong, how do you know what the party should do next? You can read newspapers today; there are people who say they will be loyal to the President as far as they are concerned. That’s dangerous. The only thing they can sell to the President is loyalty,” he observed.
KBF further said government should have concentrated on creating jobs instead of enacting the National Health Insurance Bill.
“The National Health Insurance Bill, for example, has come at a wrong time. Because very few will be responsible for that Bill. The first thing we should have done was to create jobs. Once we create jobs, that increases the tax base on which government is going to get revenue to reduce the amount of taxes that people have to pay. Let me give this scenario; if an individual has $1 million to his name, he is wealthy, he is rich, he can live his life. But that individual will only be taxed by the taxman once, and that’s it. But if you spread that $1 million across a 100 people, and you say these 100 people have got ten each, like that, what you are having is the following; one, those 100 people will have to buy a 100 bags of mealie-meal. Those people have each got a wife, they [have] got children to send to school, so their expenditure grows,” said KBF.
“There will be more things to be bought, not an individual. This is what we mean by consumption, making the economy grow because by consumption, when the money is being spent by 100 people, it is better than one person spending it. And that is the greed I am attacking. Because if you as a politician cut a deal, and you have a procurement deal, which makes you $3 million dollars as an individual, that $3 million is not trickling down to the Zambians. You are denying more than 300 thousand people out of that money which could have been spent in the economy to grow the tax base. And expenditure improves the tax collection.”