UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says President Edgar Lungu’s failure to address youths when he went to officiate at the Youth Day celebrations in Lusaka, Tuesday, showed that youths were doomed under his leadership.

And Mucheleka says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo is daydreaming to think that PF will easily win the 2021 elections because President Lungu has no competition.

In an interview, Wednesday, Mucheleka said President Lungu missed an opportunity to interact with the youths and tell them what government was doing to create opportunities for them.

“It was very unfortunate that the President decided not to give hope to the youths at that important occasion. Mind you, the situation in this country is so desperate especially with regard to unemployment, poverty, inequality. All those challenges have the face of the youths, the most afflicted person by high levels of unemployment, high levels of poverty and inequality are the youths. The President should have used that occasion to give hope to the youths by indicating what government policy is regarding how the youths are going to be assisted or how the government is attempting to create an environment that creates hope for the youths,” Mucheleka said.

“The hope for the youths could have come from the head of state himself, not what we were seeing yesterday where Kampyongo as usual was tasked to go and round up youths, they gave them beer, they were insulting opposition leaders, the opposition alliance, that’s what they were doing. I thought they should have been talking about how they are going to create jobs for the youths, giving them hope, that’s what leadership is all about, giving hope to the hopeless youths. The youths are doomed, there is no future for the youths under the PF administration and the evidence is there going by what the President exhibited yesterday, failing to speak to the youths, failing to make eye contact with the youths.”

He said government-led youth empowerment projects were only benefiting PF youths.

“We have the majority of our youths that have totally been excluded from participating in any economic activities. The youth empowerment fund with its good intention has a lot of problems to a point where it is has been turned into the PF youth fund, but even with that, within the PF itself, there is nothing that we have seen with PF youths on how they have been able to access that funding, other than them being used as tools of political violence,” Mucheleka said.

“Where is the hope for the youths? What the President should have done yesterday as he met the youths was to respond to them on what measures government was putting in place to address their challenges. We have degree holders roaming the streets, youths whose education is being cut off because meal allowance for the poorest of the poor’s’ children was scrapped off.”

And Mucheleka said Lusambo was daydreaming to think that the 2021 elections would be a walkover.

“Bowman Lusambo is day dreaming with his hallucination that the PF will win the 2021 general election. On what basis can he expect the people of Zambia to vote for the PF in 2021 with all this suffering that they have casued on people due to poor economic policies and corruption? That can only happen if they say that they are going to manipulate the ECZ to declare them as winners, maybe that’s what Lusambo is saying. And even that would be the case, the people will triumph, they claim their victory in 2021. It is not up to Lusambo or Lungu to determine what will happen in 2021, it is up to the people of Zambia, who have been subjected to mediocre leadership of the PF to decide and they will accordingly decide,” said Mucheleka.

“Lusambo can say that because he thinks they are going to use the money they are acquiring through corruption to buy people and manipulate the election results. But we have seen in so many situations where people have gone ahead to reject a failing regime despite them pumping in a lot of money in the campaigns. When people are fade up with a regime, they don’t care how much money you give them, their will shall eventually triumph. So let not Lusambo who has just come to benefit from what people like Chishimba Kambwili worked for so hard by campaigning for PF and President Edgar Lungu to win the 2016 elections. Today Lusambo hallucinate and daydream about president Lungu being re-elected in 2021 because he has to appear relevant within the PF.”