TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says things are not well in the country but has blamed the problems on climate change which has seen increased load shedding of electricity by Zesco Limited.

And Kafwaya has asked the UPND leadership to be serious and come up with a manifesto that explains what the party intends to do for Zambians if given an opportunity to govern.

Speaking when he featured on Kitwe’s Radio Ichengelo, Tuesday evening, Kafwaya said Zambians trusted the PF because it was fulfilling the promises made to them, despite things not being well in the country.

“I can confidently tell you this; PF can be trusted because we have proved that when we promise things, we deliver. Yes, things are not so well at the moment in our country but what has caused this is the issue of climate change which has brought about load-shedding. This is why we are investing in alternative sources of energy so that we can never be affected by load shedding again,” Kafwaya said.

He also said Zambians trusted the ruling party because it had a national character.

“The other reason why people should trust PF is because our party has a national character and by this I mean, look at our government and party structure! The President of the country and our party is Edgar Chagwa Lungu, he’s from Eastern Province; the Vice-President is from Western Province; the secretary general of the party is from Luapula. But UPND had two positions in Parliament, leader of opposition and opposition whip. Their President Hakainde Hichilema is from Bweengwa in Monze, leader of opposition Jack Mwiimbu is from Monze, chief whip Gary Nkombo then from Mazabuka which is just neighbours with Monze. It took people like myself to complain about this tribalism and that was when they replaced Nkombo with Musokotwane. So PF can be trusted because we are inclusive. But UPND have now started accusing us of being tribal when they openly told Sakwiba Sikota that only a Tonga can be President of UPND. So UPND should stop this rubbish of accusing us of tribalism,” Kafwaya said

And Kafwaya said he felt sorry for UPND supporters every time he thought of them, alleging that they were just following the party and its leader blindly.

He said the current UPND manifesto was only about the wrong things they had noticed going on in the country, but advised the opposition party to form a political ideology out of which a manifesto could be born.

“We in PF are not like the UPND whose manifesto is about the things they think are not going right in the country. The UPND could be there saying the economy is bad and our currency has depreciated way too much at the moment but just a while from now, they would find that these problems they’ve been complaining about are addressed, what will they say then, what will be their manifesto then? So I think the UPND should be able to tell the people of Zambia what they are going to do for them according to what they have written down in their manifesto. But again, this why I always laugh at the UPND, they have this one little paper they call ‘ten-point plan’ and I have even challenged them to say we have 30 ministries in government, so if your ideas are only 10, which ones of the 30 ministries are they addressing? Are you telling us that you will only have 10 ministries in your government?” Kafwaya asked.

“That’s being dramatic; you need to be serious when aspiring to run a country. UPND needs to be serious with what they do. But again, if you have a leader who has failed five times and he still wants to be the one to stand, it simply shows that that person thinks he’s the only one with the monopoly of knowledge. But that is not how it should be; it is people who notice that this one is wise and is fit to be a leader. I have always urged UPND to come up with a manifesto until they finally came up with something that looked like a manifesto not so long ago; but that also was a manifesto for 2016 to 2021, but I wondered how these guys think. How can you make a manifesto for 2016 to 2021 now when the election has already been won by PF? I wonder if UPND has any shame in them.”

He added that he felt sorry for UPND supporters who were following party leader Hakainde Hichilema blindly.

“I feel sorry for supporters of UPND; every time I think about them, because they just follow blindly. UPND supporters are just following a grouping that has no sense at all. How can a party fail to come up with a manifesto honestly? Late President [Frederick] Chiluba was always here to launch a manifesto just there at the Freedom Park every other time. President [Michael] Sata left MMD and created a manifesto, Elias Chipimo had a manifesto, even Sean Tembo has a manifesto, so how has UPND failed to make a manifesto surely? It’s just unfortunate and that’s why UPND members always want to talk about President [Edgar] Lungu every time they feature on radio because they have nothing else to talk about,” Kafwaya said.

“But let me advise UPND; form a manifesto, form what we call political ideology. Once you have a political ideology, that is where you are going to center your manifesto. We in PF, our political ideology is that we are pro-poor as a party. When we construct roads, we are providing solutions for poor people. When we take hospitals to rural areas, we are saving our people from traveling long distances to access health care. So all these are pro-poor policies and this is why it is so easy for us to tell the people what we are doing. So it’s truly unfortunate that our politics have been infiltrated by people who don’t have political sense to help the people.”

And Kafwaya also announced that the air operation certificate for Zambia Airways would be issued soon by the Department of Civil Aviation in Zambia and the company would then decide when to start operating.