NAKONDE PF member of parliament Yizukanji Siwanzi says Zambia is blessed to have an intelligent President like Edgar Lungu in State House.

And Keembe UPND member of parliament Princess Kasune says President Lungu and the PF government have become sophisticated in delivering speeches, which they have failed to implement.

Speaking in Parliament, Wednesday, Siwanzi argued that President Lungu’s speech gave Zambians hope on the way forward for the country.

“The President’s speech gives hope to Zambians and the way forward for this country. Mr Speaker, actually, we are blessed, as a nation, to have such an intelligent President in State House. Sometimes, I wonder, Mr Speaker, God forbid, these other people that aspire to be in office when we are facing all these natural calamities, what was going to happen in Zambia? We have heard some of the stories of some of the aspiring candidates, who want to go to State House…what they did in the past and now, I am left wondering if such people were in State House, what could have happened today?” wondered Siwanzi.

“Those who have eyes can see the development. Mr Speaker, this government has embarked on robust infrastructure development. Personally, as area member of parliament for Nakonde, I am a beneficiary, but the politics of deceit, propaganda, which is in this country, my heart bleeds! Yet you will find the opposition telling people that there is nothing that is happening. You cannot deliver a road overnight, you deliver a road in a period of time. The President talked about turning around the economy as we go into 2021, I don’t think a sitting President, who has doubts, can assure the nation on turning around the economy. He is committed to ensure that Zambians live better lives.”

And Chama South PF member of parliament Davison Mung’andu said the ruling party’s performance in the last nine years had been outstanding as it had performed better than past governments.

“The President indicated that the best way to judge this working government is to look at the development. Mr Speaker, UNIP was in power for 27 years, what is it that they did for our people? MMD had 20 years, what is it that they did for our people? Mr Speaker, the PF government has only been in power for close to nine years and if you look at what has been achieved in these nine years compared to 27 years and 20 years put together we can safely conclude that the PF has been outstanding. Our citizens out there have to look at the road infrastructure that this government has delivered,” said Mung’andu.

“Critics have pointed to the economic situation of our country; again, we have to look at the history of this country. I can confidently say that 80 per cent of what has contributed to where we are now is the programme of privatisation where one of our opposition leaders was part of. It is clear that when this opposition leader is challenged how he acquired his wealth, he is failing! What business did he do for him to be where he is? He is failing! President Lungu is trying to correct this historical, I would say, injustice, which was inflicted on our people.’”

But Zambezi West UPND member of parliament Prisca Kucheka said President Lungu’s speech was uninspiring as the PF were selective in their developmental agenda.

“For me, this speech was not inspiring or is not inspiring. My reasons are simple. Mr Speaker, the PF government is very selective in their sharing of the cake of this country. If there is a constituency, which is really left behind, it is Zambezi West. This government, from the time it came into power, they have been making promises of developmental projects in Zambezi West, not even one has been done. The only secondary school in Kucheka area, which was supposed to be constructed in 2014, up to now, there is nothing. Towers, up to now, nothing! Other constituencies neighbouring Zambezi may have been given towers, but Zambezi West, not even one,” complained Kucheka.

“The mini-hospitals the Minister went to do the ground-breaking, up to now, not even a pocket of cement. Teachers, I heard the President where he was saying the ratio of pupils has improved, for Zambezi, that is not true! For Zambezi West, you will find a school up to grade seven, maybe you only have two teachers. No roads have been graded, not even one. I have a full list of things, which have not been done. We don’t even have a university in North-Western Province. How can anyone be inspired? Are we here only to be escorting others? Others have to be clapping in their constituency, there is a secondary school. What is there for me to be proud of? What is there for me to feel that this speech is inspiring? The government has let [down] the people of Zambezi West and North-Western Province altogether, we have been let down.”

Meanwhile, Kasune said President Lungu and the PF government were only delivering speeches without making efforts to implement them.

“The speech was well written by the one who wrote the speech for him. However, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of implementation of the programmes that he has articulated. If there is something I would summarise of the President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the PF government is that they have become sophisticated in terms of speeches and yet less of implementation. For the longest time, since I have been in Parliament, I have been challenging us, as Zambians, that we have become so crafty about speeches and even forming up programmes that other people have come to benchmark and yet other countries have developed when we have remained the same way. There is a disconnect between what we write and the articulation. The President came into power and many voted for him as the man who will ‘walk the talk.’ In abbreviating his performance, Mr Speaker, I would say he is a man who ‘talks the talk!’ That is what he has become and he has led this country to,” bemoaned Kasune.

“What roads are they talking about? This country has reduced everything to caderism, as long as one is a PF cadre, they get away with everything. A country that was inspiring other countries has become a laughing stock, not only in Zambia, but in the region and around the world. It is shameful and we need to change. The President talked about peace and yet we watched a video in Kasama where a man, who has a branded UPND vehicle, the vehicle is being smashed in full view of the police and they can’t do anything. This is the Zambia that the PF government and those in the Executive [have created], and the one at the helm is the President himself and he needs to take responsibility because this country was here before him and PF. When he talks of local tourism, how is there going to be local tourism when Zambians cannot even put food on their tables? These economic difficulties are not because of COVID-19 alone; before climate change, this country was going downwards and the one who takes responsibility is the government of the day. That is why the people are saying, ‘enough is enough!’ Come August next year, we want the PF to leave government so that Zambia can become governable.”