FORMER Secretary to Cabinet Dr Sketchely Sacika says the ongoing gassing incidences in some parts of the country are a PF project aimed at destabilizing the UPND ahead of the 2021 general election.

And Dr Sacika says the prayers that the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs held last week in collaboration with some Church Mother Bodies to ask God to intervene in the gassing incidences were a waste of time.

In an interview, Dr Sacika charged that President Edgar Lungu was well aware of the people behind the spate of gassing incidences in the country, and even the reasons behind it, but could not do anything because the development worked to his advantage.

“I am a believer, too, but I don’t believe that organizing prayers and calling upon God to come and stop the gassing problem is the answer. The gassing problem is a matter that we ourselves should solve. Let us not take God’s name in vain, it is an offense against the Almighty to do so. President Lungu knows who is behind the gassing campaign and why. In 1996, (president) Chiluba and the MMD came up with the ‘Black Mamba’ conspiracy, which was essentially a political hoax aimed at destabilizing comrade KK and UNIP ahead of the general elections that year. As a result of that hoax, many UNIP officials were arrested and some of them were slapped with treason charges. But the hoax fissed out and the people that were arrested were released. After that, the hoax ended. The gassing project is, in my view, also intended as a hoax to destabilize the UPND ahead of elections next year. But why should it take the lives of 43 human beings who have been killed in this gassing hoax just to win an election in the so-called Christian nation?” Dr Sacika asked.

“These are the issues that President Lungu should be addressing, not calling prayers. Prayers are useful, but not in this way. So, I don’t support what President Lungu and others did on Saturday last week, it was a complete waste of time to start praying about gassing. President Lungu should be realistic, the people of Zambia elected him as President so that he can manage the affairs of our country. How does he expect God to do the work for him? What has God got to do with how we are managing our affairs? If President Lungu is failing, the best he can do is to resign and hand over to someone else. God has created this world and has given us laws, which we must obey in order to live more fruitful lives; lives that are pleasing to God. If we break these laws, we must pay for our transgressions! These are simple rules in life, what a man sows, that he shall reap. If you sow hatred, you will reap hatred. If you sow love, you shall reap love. And comrade KK (Kenneth Kaunda) always reminds Zambia that we must do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. This is God’s law, which we must follow.”

Dr Sacika said the biggest threat to the PF leadership was the ruling party itself in that it had poor quality of leaders managing the affairs of the country.

“The threat to PF rule is not HH, it’s not even Chishimba Kambwili or Harry Kalaba. The threat to PF is that the PF itself has failed to govern our country properly. The quality of PF government leaders is poor, the economy is hurting for the majority of Zambians. Poverty levels are rising and now encompass even people in regular employment earning small wages, the people we call ‘the working poor.’ Unemployment levels are too high and the economy is under-performing. Then Zambians don’t like the tribal politics that PF has introduced. So, these are the critical issues, not tribal politics. If the PF wants to win the elections in 2021, it must give hope to the people. President Lungu must rekindle Sata’s vision of 2011; mere politicking and resorting to ‘strong-army’ and dictatorial tactics against the opposition will not work,” said Dr Sacika.

“President Lungu must demonstrate that he is in charge. So far, he has allowed events to manage him. He does not appear to be on top of things. Political extremes like Bowman Lusambo are now the face of the Patriotic Front, they are the ones setting the political agenda and are doing so in a manner that is injurious to the political stability of our country. Lusambo is always insulting opposition political leaders. Why does President Lungu allow a mere Provincial Minister to be the face of the PF government? This is unacceptable! As President of PF and also Republican President, Mr Lungu is in a unique position to do a lot of good to our country if he chose to.”