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Sunday lambasts UPND over 30 ngwee tariff, as PF youths disagrees with himBy Mirriam Chabala on 6 Sep 2018
The UPND must grow up and begin offering logical solutions to government instead of always playing the role of professional armchair critics, says PF media director Sunday Chanda.
Reacting to UPND deputy secretary general Patricia Mwashingwele, who recently challenged President Edgar Lungu to name the exact people he referred to when he said Zambians had already accepted the newly-introduced 30 ngwee per day Internet tariff, Chanda said the UPND’s remarks were typical of her party’s infantile pettiness.
But some PF supporters have condemned Chanda’s support of the Internet call charges and used the PF WhatsApp groups to disagree with him.
In a statement, Chanda emphasised that there was need for meaningful and coherent debate from the opposition parties if the country’s democracy was to thrive.
“UPND deputy spokesperson Patricia Mwashingwele’s recent snide remarks over the 30 ngwee Internet calling tariff are so simplistic that she gives new meaning to the word ‘meaningless.’ No doubt in a democracy she can be asking who the ‘people’ are; – clearly, she must start by asking which ‘people’ Abraham Lincoln referred to in his definition of democracy. She also fails to appreciate that while Parliament comprises representatives of the people, the 30 people she has problems with sitting as Cabinet, are members of the same August House. The UPND deputy mouthpiece must also understand that any responsible government needs to find resources to invest in cyber security. As opposed to playing the role of professional armchair critics, UPND must grow up and begin offering logical solutions as well as checks and balances,” stated Chanda.
“The UPND mouthpiece’s remarks are typical of her party’s infantile pettiness as well as her leadership’s compulsive habit of splitting hairs in a vain attempt to appear savvy. Perhaps her confusion shouldn’t come as such a surprise – with her coming from a party whose understanding of the phrase ‘the people’ denotes one person around whom everything and everyone revolves. The life presidency in the UPND has the party under siege: stuck in a rut of a crisis. Naïve apologists like her are desperately trying to cover up the UPND debacle by deflecting attention with their meaningless drivel. For our democracy to thrive, we need meaningful and coherent debate from the opposition.”
But the PF youths did not receive Chanda’s statement with warm hands.
“We rejected the k30 ngwee whatsApp tax..its not about the opposition but its people… This will affect even us not only the opposition. Not all of us in PF are well to do. Most of us are struggling,” reacted Fidelis in a PF WhatsApp group called “ECL 2021 and Beyond”.
Jackie Mando commented: “Let’s not just supporting anything which is imposed on us by our leaders just because we are PF. Mind you Zambia is bigger than our PF and mind you, we will not be in power for centuries”
Shemaiah: “But internet tariff is unfortunate people because bundles are already taxed. And as an IT [person] myself, I fully understand that this will be taxed even on a person who does not use Skype , messenger or WhatApp call because it is difficult to tag charge on its own. Secondly this can make mobile provider to exploit customers, it can even be 1 kwacha.
Another PF supporter recalled how former president Rupiah Banda lost power, and posted: “RB was kicked out because of not listening. He later confessed he was wrongly being advised and cheated that all is well on the ground. He is with us, y can’t he advise? Let’s not push our popularity too far.”
Jackie Mando: “Our govt under the able leadership of ECL should reverse it,its never too late”
Charles Banda: “But he said it’s final people have accepted”.
Jackie Mando: “Which people?”
Charles Banda: “Us I believe, who else do you think he was referring to? Even on the RTSA speed trap cameras he said people wanted the signage to be improved and it has been improved.”
Jackie Mando: “But he is not being fair to the Zambian masses”
Charles Banda: “I guess that’s for the zambian masses to decide, as PF what do we say?”
Daisy: This may turn against us ka…”
In another PF group called “The real supporters of PF”, another youth reacted to Chanda’s statement saying: Reducing the complaint of citizens over this 30 ngwee tariff to mere political opposition is a big mistake. Listen to people. This tariff os not a political issue, it’s a financial issue affecting most of us, PF members inclusive. Let us not close our ears to complaints of the Masses.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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