Colonel Panji Kaunda says corruption in the Patriotic Front government is evident because of how its leaders are living lavishly while the economy is performing poorly, warning that the ruling party will only retain power in 2021 if it fights corruption and greediness.
And Col Kaunda, the son to first president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, has advised Zambians to begin to question where ministers and other leaders in government are getting huge sums of money which they are investing in industries and the real estate sector.
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, says the Patriotic Front has not done much to deliver the development promised when the party was in opposition.
“Why is it that in our case today, almost all the leaders at provincial level, ministerial level are investing heavily? Where is the money coming from? Because our economy is poor, but our friends who are in these positions have found money to invest heavily in their industries, in their houses, in whatever they are doing. People must ask those questions,” Col Kaunda said.
“Who is doing the roads? What companies are doing the roads? Who owns those companies? Those are the questions we should be asking ourselves. Until that time comes, until we say we are clean, development in this country will not go far.”
When asked what chances the PF had in the 2021 general elections, he said it would be difficult for the ruling party to win as most Zambians were complaining about the current bad economic situation.
“It is going to be difficult because us who live with the people, most of them are complaining. Look at the agricultural policies! The FISP (Farmer Input Support Program) is in a mess! It might look good on paper but check on the ground. Most of the people get half of what they are promised, the other half is eaten by someone else. Our [crop] marketing season is in a mess, agriculture is not that well,” Col Panji said.
“Malawi have issues of load shedding but it looks like they have some plans. Malawi is smaller than us but they have been able to stand with their people correctly. Malawi is only two hours [of] load shedding; for us, it is 16 hours to 20 hours [of load shedding]. So what development are we talking about?”
And Col Kaunda said the PF had not done any major new developments as they were riding on the those implemented by the UNIP government.
Last week, PF Secretary General Davies Mwila bragged that the PF government had delivered enough development in eight years it has been in power compared to 27 years of the UNIP government of Dr Kaunda.
“First and foremost, it is the people in government to develop the country. That is why we give out a manifesto that when we come in government, we are going to do this and that and so forth. Doing what we promised people shouldn’t be something we should sing about. Unless you have done something extraordinary out of the manifesto for them to be praising themselves. So it is not an issue to build schools and build other things; that is what they should be doing. That is supposed to be the work of the government,” said Col Panji.
“As compared to UNIP and the PF, what new things have we done as a party? How many roads have we built ourselves? How many new schools have we built, that is if we have built new ones? Nothing! All we are doing is patching up what UNIP left. Unless they tell us that they have built so many new schools, so many new secondary schools. Half of the things we started building are not finished; roads that we are supposed to be doing are not finished. What are we talking about? So we haven’t done that well. We haven’t done as much as UNIP did. Because UNIP did things are still standing. The roads were done by UNIP, we are just patching them up. The Great East Road was done by UNIP, the Great North Road was done by UNIP, and the road from Livingstone to Shang’ombo was done by UNIP. So what new major roads have they done? Nitwamene tuma road twamu komboni na twamu town (it is just these small roads in compounds and those in) townships which they are talking about. As we are talking now, our railway [line] from Chipata to Mchinji is not functioning. But UNIP built TAZARA! So these are things that we should be comparing with. So already, our record as PF compared to UNIP is very, very low. That is my opinion on that.”