Mitete UPND member of parliament Misheck Mutelo says Zambia lacks the good leadership required to resolve the country’s water shortages and alleviate people’s suffering.

Speaking in Parliament, Wednesday, when he debated on the budget for the Ministry of Water Development, Mutelo said availability of water was not a problem given the numerous water bodies in the country, but argued that the problem was with poor leadership.

He even suggested that this year’s delayed rainfall was because God was annoyed with the current administration.

“The PF has failed to manage the water situation in Zambia as given by God. If it was for prayers, we would pray to say: ‘as much as we have received the water [bodies], we need to get the wisdom from God as to how the water situation must be managed. Nationwide, even here in Lusaka, you also have dry taps. Water just comes for hours and mostly during night time. No water, but we have all the surface water and ground water. The only mistake that we have for now is not water, but the people who are managing the country for now, PF. They would sometimes when they are reminded to say: ‘you are going’ they would say: ‘where are we going?’ Where UNIP has gone, where MMD has gone, the next in line to go where these two political parties have gone is PF,” Mutelo said.

He told the House that it was sad that the PF would mismanage monies budgeted for improving water supply every time there is such a provision.

“Madam chairperson, let’s manage [the water problem]. I am tempted to support the National Day of Prayer; they (PF) should be praying for wisdom to be using these natural resources. We will also pray to God to do us good by removing these people out of power to bring fresh minds, which will be able to manage the water situation in Zambia. Yes, not recycled, but fresh brains, fresh management, people who will be working hand-in-hand in harmony, who will be using the resources from our cooperating partners in a good way and not the PF who when they are given the monies, they mismanage. We were told monies have been borrowed for Western Province [but], again, to-date, nothing has taken off. Go to Mitete, not even a single borehole has been drilled or maintained. So, where is this money? The money which we were promised of here by the Minister then Dr John Phiri? Where has it gone?” Mutelo asked.

He claimed that the rains had delayed because God was annoyed with what was happening.

“Thank God [that] Zambia is a unitary state, how I wish it was not like that. How I wish Barotse remained Barotse; it’s my wish [but] that Zambia is a unitary state, but out of this being a unitary state, we are suffering. No wonder for this year, 2018, and 2019 season, to some extent God is annoyed, no water now, no rains! Let’s pray hard for God to have mercies upon us and God will hear us. We still have those who have clean hands. PF, you are the ones who are there today, let’s see to it that we utilize our underground water and our surface water if at all you can, if you can’t, try,” said Mutelo.

And in winding up debate, acting Water Development Minister Richard Musukwa urged members of parliament to partner with government in ensuring that the provision of water supply became a reality.

Musukwa observed that water was a critical issue, which required level-headedness in terms of addressing the problem, rather than politicking.