LUENA UPND member of parliament David Kundoti says it is irresponsible for the PF to concentrate on buying off councillors in Western Province as opposed to resolving Zambians’ economic hardships.

Recently, Nangweshi Ward councillor Sililo Muuka rendered in his resignation, joining a long list of councillors in that area to ditch the UPND.

But in an interview, Kundoti said the PF was desperate for popularity.

“The defections of our councillors in Western Province is by the enticing by PF. They are promised to be given jobs when they are told that, ‘if they resign, they will be given employment,’ and that is very enticing! And that is why you will find a lot of our councillors, who are leaving the civic responsibilities that are being given to them by the people. I look at it as a desperate move by PF. Everyone knows PF has lost ground and popularity; it is not only in Western Province or Southern Province, but countrywide because they have no solutions to the challenges that this country is going through,” Kundoti said.

“The PF are hoodwinking the people of Zambia that they are loved and can win an election, but they are cheating themselves! They are not going anywhere! This government is not serious. The economy of this country is on its knees, our schools are in shambles, in our clinics and hospitals, there are no medicines and you have this government, which has no clue of resolving the economic hardships that the people of Zambia are going through can still go down and think so low in spending money on buying councillors and spend money on unnecessary by-elections. Is that a serious party running the affairs of the country? A local government by-election for that matter? All they are concerned about is to win an election! A government is elected to take care of the affairs of its citizens.”

Kundoti complained that the PF won by-elections through vote buying, not because they had genuine votes.

“The people of Zambia should not be taken for granted. To us who represent the people that are in the villages, it is pathetic to see what they are going through. But the PF government can afford to have money to spend on by-elections. The buying of councillors will not make PF win elections win next year. When the people of Western Province were languishing next year because of having no food, we were having reports of people dying because of hunger, PF did not send relief food to save the people, it is because they didn’t care. But look at what is happening when there is a by-election, there is a truck-load of food being ferried,” Kundoti said.

“When you lose one of your own, it doesn’t go well. PF doesn’t win these by-elections. PF uses the methods of buying votes and to an extent of rigging because when you have starving people and you use mealie meal to gain their votes, that is not a genuine victory; if there was strict adherence to electoral rules, PF can’t win an election anywhere in Zambia today. Let them be ashamed, it is not right! Imagine if this country goes five years under PF what will be there to talk about in Zambia? Even the little that is there will be run down.”

Meanwhile, Kundoti challenged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to have teeth to bite whenever there were clear electoral irregularities.

“It is unfortunate that the ECZ turns a blind eye to what PF is doing in these elections. Dishing out GRZ mealie meal to people who are vulnerable? I am asking the ECZ to sit up, to put their house in order, to enforce the electoral rules. Let them for once sit up! Let them have the teeth to bite,” said Kundoti.