I will not allow other people’s wives dancing for me when I become President, says Democratic Party leader Harry Kalaba.
Speaking when he featured on 5FM’s Burning Issue programme, Thursday, Kalaba said the culture of taking women to the Airport to welcome the President through songs and dances will not be condoned in his government, adding that political party cadres will also not be tolerated.
“When I become President, I am going to deal with the issue of cadres firmly. Cadres will have to belong where they belong. We can’t have a country that has cadres running the show right, left and centre. Even when I was cabinet minister, I used to get irritated by the conduct of cadres. One day I was on a private vehicle going to Chelstone and at the Kaunda Square roundabout, there were these PF cadres coming… we were in a long queue of vehicles and I got out to ask one police officer what was happening and he said ‘awe ba boma bapita (government officials are passing)’, but I looked and there was no Presidential motorcade passing and this officer said ‘Sir its our people who are passing’. I said ‘no no no, you can’t allow anarchy’ because if cadres are truly supporting us, then they should not do the wrong things. So for me that issues of exalting cadres is going to be a thing of the past. Come end of August , everybody will have to go to productive centres,” Kalaba said.
“I will not even allow people coming to receive me at the Airport, for what? You are getting people’s wives, who should be working in markets, who should be raising revenue in the markets to go and wake up early in the morning to go and begin dancing [for you] at the airport, that will not happen [with me]. Women are to be used in productive areas. They are to be used in revenue generation, women are to be empowered. The youths are not be used in violence, they should be used in productive centres. You see, these politicians are not using their children. They are using other people’s children whilst their children are watching DSTV in their homes. Then they are using other people’s children to stone others. But youths need to be given the right platform, that is why for me when I become President, I will ensure that the youths are mainstreamed in all the line ministries.”
Kalaba also charged that the current crop of leadership was bringing tribe into the country’s politics because that was preserving their stay in power.
“We are bringing tribal politics in this country because that is what is preserving the leadership of the current dispensation. We are having these kinds of tribal talk because our leaders are not telling us about what can bring us together. They keep on telling us about what is different among us, that is the problem. But if our leaders insisted on the strengths of each one of us, it would have been easier [and] we would not have been seeing other people losing their jobs in the civil service on account of them coming from a certain region. But because it is being entertained, [where people even say] ‘this is my strong hold’… I am coming to politics to say ‘that era is over’, there will be no stronghold anywhere, Southern Province will just be as my stronghold just as Central Province will be my stronghold. But if the formula to becoming President is concentrating on Luapula to vote for me, then it’s okay I am not going to be President. but I know and I believe in the resilience of the people in all these our Provinces that for them tribe does not even matter,” Kalaba said.
He also said that the protests that were recently staged in solidarity with the Chinese in Ndola were unnecessary.
“There was no need for that protest because there is no xenophobia. What is the meaning of xenophobia? When you break that word xenophobia into two: xeno simply means people and phobia is to be agitated towards the people, that’s what it means. So where has that agitation been? Because from what I have been hearing, it has just been people saying, ‘we as Zambians also need to be empowered’, and that is a legitimate cry. Even in other countries people are talking like that and there is nothing with it… Zambians need to be in charge of their own destiny.”