Patriotic Front deputy Media Director Antonio Mwanza has warned the newly elected University of Zambia students Union, led by Warran Hamusanga, to stay away from politics.
And Mwanza says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s continued propaganda on the alleged sale of assets will not get him to State House.
Speaking when he featured on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka star, Wednesday, Mwanza said he was relieved that students finally had a union, but warned them to stay away from politics.
“I am relieved that finally we have a student leadership at the University of Zambia. Without a student leadership, there is a creation of a vacuum and when there is no leadership, you have challenges in terms of control and communication and as a result you have ugly scenes like what we saw when we had a riot which ended up into the loss of comrade Vespers Shimuzhila. So I am very excited that finally at the University of Zambia we have a student leadership. My prayer is that the Warran led student union takes advantage of the open door policy that the Patriotic Front has exhibited. So far I am happy that the Minster of Lusaka Province has met the student leadership. Having served here as UNZASU president, the advice I can give to the student leadership is that first of all, they must stay away from partisan politics. UNZASU is not there to advance the political ideologies or political agenda of a political party. UNZASU is there to provide leadership in promoting the welfare of students, ensuring that they are a bridge between the Ministry of Education and the students and they are a bridge between UNZA management and the student populace,” Mwanza said.
“So my advice is that as they pursue their agenda to address the welfare of the students, they must stay away from partisan politics. One of the things that really worries me as one of the monks here is that usually when we hear that UNZA students are demonstrating it’s about meal allowances. UNZASU should not be reduced to meal allowances. We want students to give the lead in national issues, we want to be debating economic issues, social issues… I was very impressed when UNZA radio organised a debate between University of Zambia students from the Law school and those from UNZABECA, it was very refreshing and I can only commend Mr McPherson Mutale, the manager for UNZA and his team for coming up with such a very brilliant idea. We want UNZA to be at the forefront of research and development. We want UNZA to be at the forefront of writing scripts and debating projects . We don’t want a situation where every time students are rioting its over meal allowances, I think we want an UNZA that is engaging government, civil servants, the Church at national level to address national challenges.”
And Mwanza said Hichilema had resorted to spreading falsehoods because the ruling party was performing well.
“I pity Mr Hakainde Hichilema because he has run out of ideas to be an alternative government. Being an effective opposition leader is to provide credible checks and balances, effective opposition is telling people what you are going to do differently. I have spent so much time here talking about what we have done, so I expect that when Mr Hichilema comes on radio, he can also say what he’s going to do. But to be using lies, malice and propaganda as the only tool to State House will not work. He lied to people that ZAFFICO has been sold, but to who? On the Copperbelt, his party is saying ‘we want to demonstrate against the intended listing of ZAFFICO on the Lusaka stock exchange’, but which ZAFFICO is that? Because you are saying ZAFFICO has been sold, so which one do you want to protest against? You can’t have a leader who whenever he wakes up only thinks about what lies he’s going to tell the people,” said Mwanza.
“So they have lost their relevance, because this is a party that is drawn on lies. But we understand why they have to lie, because they have got no manifesto, they have got no programme. Even if you invited them to this radio today and asked them what their policy on health is, they will not tell you because they don’t know. They were talking about ‘10 point plan’ but ask them, even those who call in during programmes, ask them what the ‘10 point plan’ means, they don’t understand it. So this a political party that has got no policies, no manifesto. Their only way to survive in a climate where PF is performing is to use propaganda and lies. But this must be condemned because it affects the investment that foreign companies want to bring to Zambia.”