President Edgar Lungu says claims by the opposition that PF is buying votes by distributing relief food in areas where elections are scheduled to take place are nonsense.

Speaking to Kafue residents in Chiawa Chiefdom where he went to drum up support for the PF’s candidate in the Kafue Local government by-election Brig Gen Simakoloyi Moono, the President said it was impossible to bribe voters because people were all wise enough to make independent decisions.

President Lungu said government would not halt the distribution of relief food to poverty stricken citizens just because of elections.

“I want to make it very clear that we are the government, PF is the government and we have a responsibility to make sure that no Zambian dies out of hunger. If there is hunger here in Chiawa, Eastern Province or wherever there is hunger, the responsibility to make sure there is relief food lies on the government and I am the leader of the government. I want to make it very clear that this cry by the opposition that we are buying people by giving them relief food is nonsense. We cannot let people die because of elections that ‘no we will begin giving relief food after the elections’, no! We have to give you food now because hunger has got no compromise. So I am making it very clear here that with or without elections, food distribution will continue so that no Zambian dies from hunger, because that’s my job,” President Lungu said.

“Number two, the issue of water is a problem here. People want boreholes, we will bring those boreholes immediately after elections. I am promising that it’s part of our government efforts to make sure that no one is left behind in terms of service delivery to our people. The promise was made to the people of Kafue in Chiawa by President Sata that we will open the road which will link up the District to Feira District or other district so that tourism improves. We can only improve these things if we have got someone to remind us, somebody who works with us. And this councilor who is going to be the Chairman of the Council will remind us of some of these promises that we are making now. We are coming back here in 2021 to look for votes and you will determine whether or not you want us back depending on what we do for you now. Lastly and most importantly, you need to know that we are always responsible to those who have made us what we are. We are in government because of your votes. You are the bosses, you employed us and we work for you. So I want to promise openly here that we will look at you with favour because you favored us with jobs… we are not foolish people who can forget where we are coming from. I promise you that we will do something for this area. We believe that no Zambian should be left behind.”

And speaking to residents of Chinyanya village in Magobe ward, the President said it was impossible to buy votes.

“We have reports from DMMU that parts of Kafue have been affected by hunger due to drought and we have already organised maize, it has arrived, it is here. This maize has been organised and will be distributed because it is our responsibility as government to look after everyone. Now listen to this, they (UPND) are saying ‘don’t give the maize until after the elections because they will vote for you because of the maize’. But if you don’t want to vote for us don’t vote for us please. Let me make it very clear, we can’t buy you. You are wise enough to choose what you want. But you should know is that I will remain President until 2021 and I am still going to work for you. But if the people you have elected don’t want to work with me, what can I do? Nothing. So even if I want to work for you but then you don’t facilitate the means by giving me an MP or a Council Chairperson, I still continue working with those who want to work with me,” President Lungu said.

He cautioned the residents of Kafue to think deeply about their decision before going to cast their votes.

“Let me now introduce you to Gen Simakoloi, this man you see here is a tested General. Very hardworking and disciplined gentleman. This man together with PF and my leadership will change things in Kafue and at Kafue District Council. Other areas have already started benefiting from the infrastructure development that we have. We believe that Kafue district wont be left behind, here also development will reach you. So on Wednesday, wake up early in the morning and go in your numbers and vote for PF because PF is determined to bring development to all corners of this country. No one will be left behind because we believe we are one Zambia one nation,” said President Lungu.

“So am asking you to go and vote for Simakoloi on Wednesday so that together we can address the challenges affecting you. Whether you vote for us I will come, whether you don’t vote for us I will still come and tell you ‘tizasebenza bwanji manje (how will we work together now)? So I am just asking you that as you go back to your homes, go and think through this. Go and think about the future, whether you want to remain in the opposition with people who don’t want to cooperate or not.”