UPND deputy spokesperson Patricia Mwashingwele says Minister of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo must be moved to another ministry because she is too aggressive to handle children.
And Mwashingwele says her party will not support the “useless” 2019 budget.
Meanwhile, Mwashingwele says the police service has been infiltrated by cadres.
Speaking on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka Star, Monday, Mwashingwele observed that Prof Luo did not understand students’ needs.
“She doesn’t put herself in the shoes of the students and she doesn’t negotiate with them. The problem is, she wants to use decrees and she wants to use the power vested in her. Even in our homes if we did that, we would never have peace. She must have the heart to negotiate with the students. She must have the heart to listen to their plight. When students say their meal allowances have been delayed, maybe we need to go to the details, it is K22.50 per day, if we put it in the dollar term today, it is something like $1.50 per day that the students are asking for, we budget for it every year, it is not that they are asking for a favor, it is their right, they have been given a loan. So for it to be delayed, and they have no mouthpiece, like a students’ union, so when they take that route, she should have been the first one to understand what went wrong. Unfortunately, she has been the first one to condemn the students and even politicize it,” Mwashingwele said.
“There is nothing political about hunger. You know, the PF themselves would say hunger is not your friend, you can never be at peace when you are hungry. You can never study peacefully when you are hungry. Everything hinges on food first then we look at other things, health, education will come later. So she is supposed to understand. She needs to have a heart for the students, she is too aggressive for that ministry. She is not paying attention to the students’ needs and to understand and negotiate. Maybe, she should be given a different ministry, not to deal with our children.”
And Mwashingwele said her party would not support the useless 2019 budget.
“There is nothing for the Zambian people in that budget. Why do I say that? Key ministries like health have seen a budget cut. People may want to know that health has only been given nice per cent when in the Abuja agreement, we agreed that at least minimum would be 15 per cent. Look at education, it has been reduced from 16.2 to 15.3, agriculture, where our food lies has been given 6.2 and giving back the debt, you can add all this together and find that actually, servicing of debt is far much higher than our key ministries put together. Where we have our social services, all that has been beaten by the issue of giving back what we owe,” she said.
“This budget has become completely useless for the Zambian people. And what are we saying as UPND? We cannot support a budget like this. We want it to go on record that as a party, we do not agree with this budget. For me, I wouldn’t give money to buying ammunition and tear gas.”
Meanwhile, Mwashingwele said the police service had been infiltrated by cadres.
“The problem with the current police service, I don’t know if I should even call it a service, is that they have been infiltrated by cadres. And we can’t run away from this fact. We have the professional police and we have the PF cadres enrolled into the police service. That job is not for cadres…law breakers are found across the political divide so if a person from the UPND, including myself and my president, if they break the law, the police must enforce the law. If the PF, including their members of parliament and ministers, if they break the law, the law must take its full course. But when you put in political cadres into the police service, it means you are trying to protect one political party that is in government at that particular time and you deny those who are professional a chance to do the right thing,” said Mwashingwele, who also called for the arrest of officers responsible for Vespers Shimunzhila’s death.