UPND deputy Spokesperson Conerlius Mweetwa says Lusaka should give the rest of the country a signal of how to treat PF in 2021.

And Mweetwa says unlike PF, his party wants to ensure that the best suited candidate is picked to run for the mayoral race.

In an interview, Mweetwa said having more than 30 people apply to be mayor shows disorganization in a party.

“In an organised group, you cannot have a position of one person being applied for by 30 people, that is disorganisation and it means there is no criteria on merit. But we believe that the people of Lusaka require meritorious service. So only quality candidates will have the guts to apply but you no with PF you can’t be surprised with PF because they are known for disorganization. In PF it’s like an octopus kind of approach to governance. But governance should be structured, if you have 30 people applying, it means they don’t even recognise amongst themselves that they understand who should be in the position to apply and then others should support. But anyway that’s democracy, they have the right to apply even 100 of them can apply but what is important is the decision of the electorate. For applicants they can even be 1000 PF applicants. But they should know that PF has a big crime to the people of Lusaka, they chased street vendors without plan B, the retirees have not been paid their money, the students at the University of Zambia are being victimised so I don’t expect university students to vote for PF in these Mayoral elections,” Mweetwa said.

“I do not expect young people who are looking for jobs to vote for PF in these Mayoral elections because we were told there will be 500,000 jobs for young people but those jobs are nowhere to be seen. If there are jobs anywhere, you must be connected to a PF minister to be employed but if you are ordinary citizen with qualifications, nothing. If you are already employed, they say this one looks like a UPND supporter and they manufacture stories around you so that you are retired in national interest, that is the PF of today. So Lusaka should give us a signal of how we should treat PF in 2021.”

Mweetwa refused to disclose names of those who had so far applied, but stressed that the party was looking for a quality candidate.

“We have received a number of applications, but not to the level of PF who have received about 31 applicants. The fact that PF have received over 30 aplications is a demonstration of disorganisation because there is no measure for quality, it’s like every Jim and Jack can apply. For us we respect the people of Lusaka because they deserve a decent Mayor, so a number of people have applied but we will be very stringent to ensure that whoever gets the adoption should be meritorious. The people of Lusaka are going to vote UPND and there is no question about that. We are going to teach PF a lesson in Lusaka. We want PF to explain why they chased people from the streets without providing a plan B for the survival of those people,” said Mweetwa.

“I have traveled around the globe myself, street vending is everywhere but it’s regulated with relevant and necessary facilities provided. So you cannot chase people because of cholera. And I thought when the Ministers of Local Government and Health where declaring end of cholera outbreak that they would also say that now that cholera is over, this is what we are going to do for the street vendors but they didn’t. The only thing that PF will be remembered for is to chase street vendors and also opening bars and closing churches during the cholera outbreak. So we want this government to tell us the plan B for the people who were surviving out of trading on the streets. I will confirm the number in due course because people have been applying. But the criteria we are using is the usual one where someone has to be in good standing with the party. Someone has to be a party and somebody who we believe will serve the people of Lusaka diligently. We are not going to have people who come from nowhere and say ‘I am going to stand for Mayor’ because when you stand on the party ticket, you must believe in their ideology. So we will try as much as possible to ensure that somebody who understands the work of the council and going to serve the people in line with our zero tolerance to corruption and somebody who is going to be accountable and transparent to the electorate.”