National Democratic Congress NDC president Chishimba Kambwili says it would be dangerous for the Zambian people to give the PF another five-year mandate with President Edgar Lungu at the helm.
And Kambwili has insisted that corruption cannot be curbed under this administration because some ministers are corrupt.
On Saturday, President Lungu celebrated five years in office and shared some reflections on his Facebook page, emphasizing that he had continued implementing Michael Sata’s vision.
“Since you elected me as President, and in keeping with the vision of our party’s founding father, I have continued to pursue policies centred on, among others: Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction, Reduction of Developmental Inequalities, and Enhancing Human Development, as clearly outlined in the 7NDP. Through our continued effective implementation of these and other policies and programmes; my Government shall achieve broader gender equality, poverty reduction, economic diversification, enhance human development and create a more conducive governance environment as envisioned by our founding father and 5th Republic President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRIP),” wrote President Lungu.
“‘Our development agenda is simple as it emphasizes the need for government to promote pro-poor growth for the vulnerable in our society,’ was the pledge of our dear late President Sata to the Zambians. As one tasked to carry on this vision and baton of responsibility, my administration and I shall never depart from working towards promoting pro-poor growth. And because of our continued focus on improving the quality of lives of the poor, the vulnerable, and indeed all Zambians; the transformative legacy of the Patriotic Front as well as the pro-poor vision of our dear late President Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, shall outlive the current generation.”
But in an interview Kambwili said President Lungu had failed to improve the standards of living.
“If people are suffering, if people cannot have three meals a day, if the cost of mealie meal is beyond reach for the ordinary poor, then the performance has been very bad. It is not by building roads and hospitals where there are no medicines and equipment we can say that they have worked, no! It is to reduce poverty levels and also it is to reduce the living standards of the people,” Kambwili said.
“It is extremely dangerous giving the PF [ victory in] 2021, if they don’t change the fundamentals and change the way they do things. It will be extremely dangerous. We need a paradigm shift; they need to change a lot of fundamentals; they need to change the leadership; they need to change the approach towards national issues. Otherwise, giving them another five years with the current state of affairs it is extremely dangerous.”
Kambwili insisted that President Lungu had diverted from the original PF plan.
“The question we should ask ourselves, have the PF done it under President Edgar Lungu to uplift the living standards of the people? The answer is a big no! Have the PF under President Edgar Lungu made it possible for the ordinary citizen to afford the staple food which is mealie meal? The answer is no! Have the poor farmers been paid for delivering maize on time? The answer is no! Have the inputs been delivered on time? The answer is no! So where is the performance? Where is the performance? So, in my view, a lot needs to be done; President Lungu must jack up his standards and jack up his performance, otherwise the five years have not been impressive,” Kambwili said.
“The plans we made up have been abandoned because the people who are in government today are not the actual PF, the actual who I may call torch carriers. The people who are there are totally different members of the PF who believed in the Michael Sata agenda; and therefore, they have their own agenda. The agenda they have got is to make money for their pockets and not to worry about the people; that is what we have seen.”
And Kambwili said Transparency International Zambia were spot on in their analysis that corruption was worsening in the country.
“TIZ was spot on. We have said there is a lot of corruption in this government. In this government, corrupt ministers are the ones who speak loudest; corrupt ministers are the ones who speak loudest; so what do you expect? Instead of them being ashamed of themselves but they are the ones who want to portray themselves as leaders. You cannot fight corruption if within your rank and file there are corrupt ministers; you can’t fight corruption!” said Kambwili.