Ikeleng’i UPND member of parliament Elijah Muchima says the 2020 national budget is useless because it will not have any impact on common citizens.

And Muchima says the entire PF government has been hijacked by party cadres who hold more powers than their leaders.

But Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube has declared the UPND’s “alternative budget” a national disaster, charging that their document is a danger to society.

Speaking when he debated on the 2020 national budget in Parliament, Friday, Muchima branded the 2020 budget as useless.

“You chose to come into power to provide the services and goods of the people. Don’t use climate change as an excuse for your failure! If you have failed, just resign and others will come. For me, coming from North-Western, the land of plenty, I will say this [budget] is useless [and] the reason why I will say this is useless, we do not get anything, Madam Speaker, out of the budgets of PF ever since they came into power! [This budget] has not been useful. It has not yielded anything at all. The people of North-Western have become even poorer. Look at the roads from Chisasa going to Mwinilunga and yet that is where there are minerals. Even the gold you are talking about is there now,” Muchima said.

He, however, urged Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu to be firm and actualize next year’s budget.

“To be firm in PF, you will be an enemy. If you want to do the correct thing, Minister [Dr Bwalya Ng’andu], through you Madam Speaker, you will be an enemy to most of your people there. How many budgets, ever since these PF came into power, have been passed through here and you have not been firm to release the funds to the needs of the people. You have not been firm in realizing the CDF (Constituency Development Funds); you have not been firm in realizing funds to the Ministries; you have not been firm to follow exactly what is in this document. I know, Minister, you are coming from a very high disciplined institution, Bank of Zambia, where they are firm [but] if you want to be unpopular, be firm. But for us here this side, [opposition] we want you to be firm. We want you to actualize this budget,” Muchima urged.

He said the PF had been hijacked by its cadres who possessed more power than authorities, as evidenced by the continued blocking of councils from collecting revenues in markets and bus stops.

“Your colleagues there have taken business as usual. Areas of revenue collection like the bus stops, like the Soweto Market, that money is ending up in pockets of cadres! There is a lot of money there that is supposed to go to councils, which comes from the markets there. This PF has been hijacked by cadres! The cadres even have got more powers than the Deputy Whip of Parliament. Madam Speaker, this government, which is coming today talking about climate change, we have stood here on this floor to say that government is broke! Three years ago, [but] they were denying. Today, the coffers are completely dry, but they want to put a culvert to say [it’s because of] climate change [when] it is management style. If you champion discipline, all the money you are talking about will be available. This was championed by late president [Patrick] Mwanawasa. He started disciplining his own,” Muchima said.

He also urged Dr Ng’andu to withdraw the Constitution amendment process the same way he ditched the controversial Sales Tax.

“You have come bravely on Sales Tax and said ‘let me listen to the people,’ just as we are expecting on the Bill 10 because people have complained. If you come like that, then we are moving in the right direction. I will say, Minister, make adjustments. Clear the local areas. Shrink some of the Ministries, which we don’t need like one Ministry, which I can’t mention now,” he said.

But Ngulube mockingly declared the UPND “alternative budget” as a national disaster, saying it was a danger to society.

“This alternative budget by a certain political party is a threat to the people of Zambia and they must watch out! Somebody is threatening in their alternative budget that second-hand tires will not be allowed in Zambia and we know that most of us Zambians import second-hand vehicles, meaning that, God forbid when HH becomes president, God forbid should UPND get into power, the people who are importing second-hand vehicles in Zambia will be punished! Madam Speaker, allow me to declare this alternative budget as a national disaster and a danger to the people of Zambia. And come 2021, no gay supporter will go to State House!” charged Ngulube.