People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says President Edgar Lungu has demonstrated that he has failed to govern the country and should therefore not contest the 2021 presidential election.

Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya last week said when she featured on Prime Television’s Special Interview programme that she believes 2019 would be described by many families as a year where they have experienced a lot of turbulence.

She further said there would be an opportunity in 2021 to test whether or not the current economic status has affected the popularity of the ruling party, adding that government did the best it could in 2019 under very difficult circumstances.

“I believe that 2019 will be described by many families as a year where we have experienced quite a lot of turbulence. Turbulence in terms of the economy, the weather, (and) social turbulence. We have seen such a growth in the education sector from one university to over 40 private universities. And these universities are churning out young people whose hopes and aspirations might not be met at this point in time and so they could be feeling a bit frustrated. That is the turbulence that we have experienced in 2019,” said Siliya.

But in an interview, Banda said the turbulence that Siliya was talking about was a result of poor governance and past decisions by government.

“So the turbulence that honourable Siliya was talking about is a result of poor governance and poor decisions that have been made in the past. I can assure you that the turbulence is not yet over. This turbulence is not a coincidence. This is their own making. They created these problems and they are failing to deal with them. Asking them to deal with these problems is over expecting,” Banda said.

He said what Zambians needed to do was to pray that “they at least survive until August 12, 2021” when the general elections would be help.

“We hope and pray that God is going to help Zambians to survive till 2021. Otherwise, the PF deserve to go. If I were the PF, I would not even put myself on the ballot or at least in a barest minimum. President Lungu has demonstrated that he has failed to govern the country, he should not put himself on that ballot,” Banda said.

“The PF as a group have also failed us. Because when Zambians expected them to stand for them, they did not but decided to please and appease President Lungu. The PF agenda is [about] pleasing one person. They are forgetting that the resources that they are misusing belong to the people of Zambia and that the people of Zambia have the right to vote them out or in.”

He said the PF government had demonstrated that they did not have the necessary requisites to govern the country.

“They don’t understand what governance is. They think governance is about egos. Right now, we have issues with the American ambassador to Zambia; we don’t know what the U.S. will decide for next year, whether they will give us a US$500 million in aid or they will let our people suffer. Yet the President himself says ‘we shall scrounge around in our poverty, they can take their money’. He is running away from the real issues. The real issue here is not because the U.S. had a problem, like they were pointing a gun at us to say that ‘if you don’t implement gay rights, this is what we are going to do’. The U.S. was asking for mutual respect from the government,” Banda said.

“This is just one example of what is going to happen tomorrow because President Lungu, when he was making that statement, he did not think about what effects this is going to have in the future. Now when the Americans stop bringing ARVs, all this aid that they are bringing to Zambia, where is President Lungu going to find the money? Because as we speak, his government has no money. This one is just one of the many examples of bad decisions that the PF have made.”

Meanwhile, Banda announced that his party would start its mobilisation in January next year in preparation for the 2021 elections.

“As a party, we are working around the clock to ensure that we are not just going to be on the ballot but we are going to go there to compete. What Zambia needs is an alternative leadership that is going to deliver a vision that will transform people’s lives. And that is what PAC stands for. We are starting our mobilisation in January in preparation for the 2021 elections. We are ready to take over this country and deliver on behalf of the people,” said Banda.