PF will lose elections in 2021, whether they like it or not, because they have not fulfilled any of the promises they made to Zambians in 2016, says Chipili independent member of parliament Jewis Chabi.
And Chabi says PF Secretary General Davies Mwila should be the last person to call Harry Kalaba a nonentity because he failed to prove his popularity when he lost the Chipili seat in 2016 despite having access to government resources.
Speaking when he featured on Prime Television’s Oxygen of Democracy programme on Monday evening, Chabi said Mwila was yet another reason why the PF was likely to lose elections in 2021 because the party could not expect him to organise the party at national level when he had failed to oranise a constituency in Chipili.
“I am a politician and I can tell you that it is wrong for any party in government to use the victory of a by-election as a standard to measure its strength. That’s is very wrong, it is being naive and I can tell you, if our colleagues in PF are believing that because they won Chilanga, because they are likely to win the Mayoral elections in Lusaka and so they are standing on a very firm ground politically and they will win elections in 2021, they will be shocked. A by-election is a different thing altogether…did you see the number of ministers who were flocking Chilanga? There was never a minister who never went to Chilanga, that’s what a by-election calls for. But I can tell you with all the confidence that at the rate PF is moving, they are going to lose elections in 2021 whether they like it or not,” Chabi said.
He lamented that PF was ruling Zambia under the principle of patronage.
“They have failed to create the jobs that they promised the people of people of Zambia. Just two years ago, President Lungu when he was opening Parliament in 2016, he promised to create one million jobs by 2021. Two years down the line, we haven’t heard how many jobs so far have been created. The interest of the PF is not the people of Zambia, their interest is self. That is why they don’t even care if patronage takes centre stage. From my personal experience at my office as member of parliament, there is a box of applications for people to become police officers. But am I the one who is supposed to employ police officers? No! Even when people have been told to to take their application to the regional headquarters in each Province, some of them find it worthy to bring to the MP because they believe that if there is no one to speak for you, you can’t get that job. That is supposed to tell you that this country is being run on the principle patronage. It is about who you know now for you to get a job. But it’s not supposed to be like that. We should be able to run a meritorious system where those people that are qualified are the ones who are supposed to get the jobs but for now it’s who you know. If you are not in good boots with the party (PF) then you cannot do business with the government. If you are not a PF member you can’t get a job, it’s not correct and when we say they have failed, that is what we we are talking about. You can’t promote patronage to that extent,” Chabi said.
Chabi regretted that PF, under President Lungu, had abandoned Sata’s vision for the party.
“PF came into power on the basis of lower taxes, more money in the people’s pockets and more jobs. We are not seeing this now. When President Sata became President, he had the desire to make sure that he creates more jobs for the people of Zambia, he puts more money in the people’s pockets and he lowers the threshold for the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to K3,000. We saw him creating employment by coming up with districts and coming up with infrastructure, we saw him reducing the taxes but we are not seeing that now. The more money, lower taxes and more jobs that the PF promised the people after President Lungu came to power is no longer there,” Chabi recalled.
“What have we seen now just in the current budget? We saw last year the Minister of Finance come to Parliament to increase the presumptive tax. We saw the Statutory Instrument coming up from the Minister of Water and Sanitation to start taxing people who are having boreholes at their own homes to the tune of K250. That is not lower taxes because when you talk of increasing the presumptive tax, it literally means that the transporters will shift that to the consumers who use public transport. that’s why today even as I speak from last year my people from Chipili constituency who were paying K180 to come to Lusaka are now paying K320, just to come to Lusaka. Going back is another K320. Now you can imagine if some wants to come and mourn their relative here in Lusaka, you would have to prepare about K1000 just to go and mourn.”
Chabi observed that the levels of corruption in the PF government were swelling and clear for everybody to see.
“We are seeing our colleagues who are given the privilege to serve in ministerial positions being called names such as ATMs. I don’t want to mention names but they know themselves those that have been nicknamed ATMs because wherever they go you see them donating money. How can they explain this? Where are they getting all these monies? A mare minister and mare MP goes to a Church and donates K100,000, tomorrow he goes to another Church another K100,000… where are they getting all that money from? Even if it’s good will, is that how you provide service? Doesn’t he have other needs to attend to? This tells you that our colleagues have got money which they can’t explain. That’s why if I were closer to the President of this country, what I can do is to come up with a law which should stop those of us like members of parliament and ministers from getting involved in businesses when you are serving as a minister, that is the only way to go,” he said.
And Chabi said Mwila was a nonentity who would contribute to the PF’s downfall in 2021.
“I am very close to honourable Kalaba because I have moved with him politically since he came to stand in Bahati in 2006. By then I was a PF official in that constituency and I have moved with my colleague honourable Kalaba since that time, he’s a human being and he may have some weaknesses but the man is very strong morally and in terms of service to others. But Zambians don’t take the people who are serious seriously. I am very close to honourable Kalaba and if he became a leader of a political party, I would work with him. He wouldn’t have to invite me, I would join him willingly because I know what he’s capable of doing. Go to Bahati, I live in Mansa and I have seen that what honourable Kalaba has done for the people of Bahati is something that no member of parliament for now would do for his people,” said Chabi.
“And honestly speaking, is Davies Mwila the right person to judge others in terms of who is a nonentity and who is not? He’s not. The PF made a mistake to have put Mwila as Secretary General for the party. One of the reasons PF will come out of government in 2021 is the appointment of Davies Mwila to that position. You can’t give someone who failed to organise a constituency in a rural area which was the stronghold of PF and everything was to his side, is that someone you can give to organsie a party at a national level? Davies Mwila is not right person to judge who is a nonentity and who is not. In fact he’s the one who is a nonentity because he lost to an independent when he was Home Affairs Minister. So who is a nonentity between him who lost to an independent member of parliament when he was a minister and somebody who just resigned on his own? Even when we put them on a moral scale, who do you think has got a very string moral fibre? So Mwila is not the right person to do that [to Kalaba], he’s just doing that to protect his job.”