UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says the PF should stop shifting blame to the opposition and instead look for lasting solutions to Zambia’s challenges.

Commenting on Transport and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya’s statement in Parliament where he accused the opposition of enticing TAZARA workers to protest due to unpaid salaries, Kakoma said there was nothing wrong with opposition parties interacting with TAZARA workers.

“Well, it is not wrong for a leader, including an opposition leader to interact with anyone in society; they are free to interact with anyone in society. They are free to interact with truck drivers, marketeers, mini bus and taxi drivers, with house servants with anybody, there is nothing wrong with that. For those Ministers to be worried about TAZARA workers, I mean they are just afraid of they are own shadow,” Kakoma said.

“If people have not been paid, obviously, they don’t need anyone to incite them, naturally, they will be upset on their own that they have been made to work without pay. So, they complain or, indeed, their plan to go on strike cannot be blamed on the opposition. The government must find the solution, together with TAZARA, to pay the workers. It will not help them to complain about the opposition inciting them, the workers are reasonable enough; they know their rights and they are demanding to be paid for what they worked for.”

He said the blaming opposition political parties for everything was a sign that PF had failed to govern the county.

“Basically, that is the kind of failure on their part to govern. And because they have failed to deliver, they have failed to govern. They are now trying to shift the blame to the opposition, the opposition are not the ones that are responsible for failing to solve the problems that the county is going through. They (government) should be the ones to find solutions to the load shedding because you don’t expect the opposition to find solutions for load shedding,” he added.

“They should find a solution to the escalating mealie meal prices, people are complaining everyday about mealie meal prices going up. People are complaining about the general hunger situation. In many parts of the county, people are depending on wild roots and a responsible government cannot allow the situation like that to happen to citizens. They should find solutions. They just wasted US $27 million paying Eskom of South Africa to supply electricity and people are still experiencing load shedding! So, that money appears to have gone into the grave. That is the lack of foresight that people are complaining about, wasting people’s money!”

And Kakoma said government should desist from stopping people to air out their grievances.

“They are scared of their failures to deliver, they now want to divert people’s attention to the opposition and that will not help them. What will help them is to find solutions and not to play the ‘blame game.’ It’s the PF that has failed, not UPND; even if they waste time blaming UPND, it won’t help them. Usually, what happens, when people fail to govern, they resort to repression, they resort to dictatorship trying to threaten people thinking that if the people don’t speak out, then they won the game. In fact, it works the opposite,” said Kakoma.

“In fact, it is better people speak out so that you know what is on their minds. If they keep quiet, that is more dangerous because they can explode one day and that will be chaos! So, it is better that people are allowed to speak out their frustrations with this government; it is not for them to start denying people the (freedom of) expression, denying people the right to movement, that just worsens the situation. This situation where they (PF) are failing to govern will result in a bad ending for the PF.”