Vice president Inonge Wina says online media and radio stations that have been giving negative portrayal of the country to the world will soon face consequences because their propaganda is affecting the economy.

Speaking during the vice president’s question time in parliament Friday, Wina also said UPND Councillors are defecting to the PF because they have seen that the opposition party is nowhere near power.

And Wina said opposition MPs that do not want to work with civil servants in their respective districts should not expect development in their constituencies, and neither should they complain.

Speaking when she responded to a question from Bwana Mkubwa PF member of parliament Dr Jonas Chanda who wanted to know what government was doing about some unpatriotic Zambians collaborating with foreign entities to generate negative propaganda about Zambia which was tantamount to economic sabotage, Wina said soon they would face consequences.

“In some countries, economic saboteurs are dealt with very sternly by governments but this government of PF is a very democratic government and it is allowing freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of thought. If it did not, we would not have so many radio stations in the country, we would not have allowed the social media to operate in the country, but this government has not taken action against those people who are tarnishing the name of this country but soon they should be ready to face some consequences. Economic sabotage really is a crime that should be taken very seriously because the negative portrayal of the country that we give to the world is affecting the economy of the country. It is affecting the kwacha [and] that is why our currency fluctuate so much simply because of the negative image that the country is receiving especially outside the country,” Wina said.

Wina urged Zambians to be patriotic and to protect their country’s welfare.

“So madam speaker, we need to be patriotic, we need to love our country. being a patriot goes beyond political affiliation, it goes beyond ethnic affiliations because to be a patriot is for one to love one’s country and to care for its welfare and the people living in that country,” she said.

And responding to a question from Ikelengi member of parliament Elija Muchima who wanted to know why government had continued inducing elections amidst the austerity measures, the Vice-President said councillors were desperate in UPND.

“Your honour, austerity measures have been pronounced by your government yet we have seen the opposite. CDF has not been released, schools are not rehabilitated especially where we come from, even for simple Iron sheets for classrooms. Is it prudent for your government to continue inducing by-elections for councillors through offering money and employment?” Muchima asked.

Wina said Councillors were leaving the opposition because they had seen that UPND was nowhere near power.

“Madam speaker, sometime in November this year, there will be by-elections in Mangango and the by-elections have been caused by a member of parliament who died in a road accident. That has nothing to do with inducing an election deliberately. The Councillors in many wards of this country [and] we have said it before that the PF does not buy Councillors or induce them. Currently madam speaker, for the first time in the life of local authorities, Councillors are receiving allowances of K3, 000 per month which has never happened before. So for a Councillor to leave that lucrative space and go to unknown destination, it means that the Councillor is desperate, he does not want to stay where he is or she is and that is how the Councillors are looking to the future and saying that ‘this UPND will never come anywhere near power.’ So as a result, the Councillors have not seen the light at the end of the tunnel. So they are making early exits before the big hand falls,” Wina said.

Meanwhile when responding to Luampa MP who wanted to find out how districts would develop if civil servants were threatened every time they were seen interacting with opposition MPs, Wina advised MPs to always register their presence with the provincial or district authorities.

“Madam speaker, that is speculation because this government is encouraging members of parliament to participate in developmental projects in their constituencies. And I cannot see how a member of parliament can fail to interact with departmental heads in a district unless they have personal differences with some government officials in those districts. Otherwise it’s very important for members of parliament to know what is going on [and] to report themselves when they arrive in the constituency to the office of the district commissioner or the provincial minister. Now, if you don’t want to work with government civil servants in the districts, don’t expect development in your constituency and don’t complain,” said Wina.