PF deputy chief whip Tutwa Ngulube says Zambia would have been different if past governments worked as hard as President Edgar Lungu.
And Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament says for the first time in history, a bill is being advertised on billboards like Boom detergent washing powder.
Speaking on Muvi TV’s Blunt Talk, Monday, Ngulube said the political landscape was favouring PF because the ruling party had brought about infrastructure development.
“The political landscape right now is favoring us the ruling party because when you look wherever you are looking, you will see massive infrastructure development coming up, you will see a lot of work being done. I think Zambia could have been a different country today if all the past governments actually worked the way President Lungu is actually working. Today when you talk about a lot of things, we have scored actually as the Patriotic Front. As the Patriotic Front, we have done much work within a short period of time,” Ngulube said.
“When you talk about matters to do with social problems for example unemployment and employment levels, I think the PF has recruited within the last few years more than 40 per cent of the civil service; talk about nurses, talk about doctors, talk about police officers, talk about soldiers. We know that the PF has done more recruitment in the civil service, the PF has done its work in infrastructure. We all know that government has been recruiting not everyone has been recruited, yes but the PF government has done quite a lot in recruiting. There is belief in Zambia that when you are a graduate, you must be employed by government I don’t think so. We need to teach our people and graduates that going to university is one thing and waiting to be recruited by government is a probability.”
He said the PF was also scoring by spearheading constitutional amendments aimed at ensuring a better Zambia.
“The PF has actually even scored much more in terms of Constitution making processes because in 2015, the President was actually in the forefront ensuring that the draft constitutions of this country are actually made available and the PF made it possible for the new Constitution in 2016. Now the people are saying can we clear the lacunas, I think the PF is spearheading the fight for a better country and better Constitution,” he said.
Ngulube also lamented that Southern Province was a hostile environment for the ruling party.
“Whatever happened in Monze was wrong and whether there was any tearing of bill boards it was also wrong so two wrongs do not make a right. I am one of the few people who go and campaign in Mazabuka and in Southern Province in general. The environment in Southern Province is quite hostile because in Southern Province, they don’t allow you to wear even a PF chitenge or t-shirt. In a campaign period declared by ECZ, that is how provocative the situation can be but we have tolerated that for a long time. We don’t want this country to degenerate, I want to be free to wear my PF t-shirt in Monze, in Mazabuka in Lusaka wherever. We as PF will not emulate what they did in Monze, we will be civil and we will respect them,” said Ngulube.
And Nkombo said for the first time in history, a bill was being advertised like Boom.
“I want to argue that the political landscape is favouring PF, I think that he needs to get better lenses to understand why it should not come from a person of his standing as a lawyer to say the President has been spearheading the fight for the constitutional making process. The process of constitutionalism and making process should never be a fight. It should have a central pivot of consensus. I am not even surprised now because I have seen something that was beneath any government; that they could actually for the first time since Zambia became a republic to advertise a bill in a billboard as if you are advertising boom,” Nkombo said.
Nkombo said there would have been mayhem in Mazabuka if PF and the police did what they did in Monze by removing all UPND billboards.
“Had PF and police did what they did in Monze in Mazabuka, I can assure you that there would have been mayhem in Mazabuka. What the police did was highly provocative; they tore down any semblance of a UPND feature. People got agitated. Thank God they did not do that in Mazabuka. So the people of Monze were being reactive,” Nkombo said.
Meanwhile, Nkombo said government had continued to use the COVID-19 pandemic to suppress the opposition in the country
“As a political party, we think that government of the day has clearly taken advantaged of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal in order to reduce further the already non existence democratic space in this country. What do I mean? There is discrimination in the manner the statutory instrument that governs the pandemic is applied in the nation. I want to further argue that we thought that the COVID-19 was a pandemic for all but seeing that the democratic space has continued to diminish in the name of COVID- 19, we have have been reduced in fostering our rights and freedoms to associate, our rights and freedoms to assemble, our rights and freedoms to be conscience,” said Nkombo.
“We have seen progressively that when it is opposition, their space has continued to diminish under this new normal because it works for them, the government using the police and not the health authorities who are the owners of the SI. The police have taken that SI to use it the way they have always used the public order to selectively choose who must assemble, when and where. I want to put it to the nation that the new normal has brought challenges to us as a political party, as also opposition parties. We have seen a new normal under the PF where a voice can be attacked ferociously. My President, the Bally, Hakainde Hichilema has embarked on interactions with the country using radio stations and community stations alike. The next thing you are going to hear is that they are attacking Facebook because Mr Hichilema has also decided to communicate to the country via Facebook.”