PATRIOTIC Front media director Sunday Chanda says there is a wind of change blowing in UPND strongholds, which will lead to the re-election and consolidation of PF after the 2021 general elections.
And Chanda says the ruling party has not neglected Zambians, as evidenced by the strong levels of commitment in all areas of development.
Speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s the Hot seat radio programme, Thursday, Chanda argued that there was a wind of change blowing in favour of PF in UPND strongholds.
“Clearly, you can see the trend that UPND strongholds are giving up! And if at all there is a wind of change happening, it is a wind of change that is turning former red provinces to green. North-Western Province is one of them, Copperbelt rural is one of them and there is no other way unless our colleagues wish to live in denial. Clearly, there is no other way to explain why UPND is losing Western Province, in North-Western Province, clearly, there is something that is wrong. And I am glad that my elder brother Gary (Nkombo) did not really go deeper…there are serious problems in the UPND! There is a sense of fatigue in the UPND. The UPND membership is fatigued and they are looking for development. What they have seen coming from President Edgar Lungu is the heart of a leader interested in taking development to all parts of the country without leaving anyone behind. The wind of change is the wind of change sweeping former UPND strongholds. The PF is still a very popular party on the ground,” Chanda argued.
He supported calls that there should be an establishment of a commission of inquiry into privatisation.
“Where I come from we say, ‘umulandu taubola’ (crime committed is never forgotten) this issue has been topical for many years and it is just important that maybe we must put this matter to rest. The only way of putting it to rest is not by being dodgy, it is by confronting it. Privatisation happened to Zambia. A lot of our people lost their livelihoods, a lot of our people lost their jobs, a lot of people lost their lives. And if anything was done irregularly, we are calling and I would support the establishment of an inquiry so that we must bring this matter to a close. Nga kwali abalufyenye (if you made a mistake), let them face the Zambian people. An inquiry is a cleansing process and I think it is only fair for a country like Zambia. This matter needs to be put to a close. Let the Zambian people be given an opportunity to bring this matter to a closure because what was being privatised were not assets for individuals; these were assets belonging to the Zambian people. Born and unborn. So, there must be accountability. We can’t be singing about transparency when it touches on other things,” he said.
Chanda also predicted that the ruling party was going to win next year’s election because they were hardworking.
“The reason why PF is winning next year is not because we are angels, it is not because we are the best that ever happened to Zambia. It is because we are a congregation of men, women and young people trying hard to create a better Zambia. We are team that is working hard, imperfect as we would be, frail as we would be, human as we would be, with our shortcomings as human beings…the PF in terms of resolve and political will is very clear for all to see that when we say, ‘we want to transition Zambia and we want to keep pace with the changing times, we want to transition Zambia from this land-locked country to a land-linked country. We want to be both theoretical and practical,” Chanda added.
He urged Zambians not to feel neglected by government.
“There is no denying that our people are having a hard time and the PF remains fully aware and cognisant of the fact that our people are having a hard time. These are our brothers, these are our sisters, our cousins, our neighbours. Of course, there is political rhetoric to the effect that we have made some of the outrageous decisions. We may not be a government of angels. The people of Zambia should not feel neglected by this government. We never promised heaven, what we promised was governance that is alive to reality, to the dynamics on the ground. Remember that some of these are global phenomena. The Zambian people understand the situation we are in right now; the Zambian people understand that this government feels their pain,” he said.
When asked about allegations that the PF was issuing NRCs to aliens and minors, Chanda dismissed this as cheap propaganda.
“That is cheap propaganda! We saw that and we were laughing because of all political parties, it was the UPND making those accusations. And we said to ourselves how this could be because UPND is a major culprit. Previous NRC issuance or voter registration processes, we saw a number of underage removed from the voter’s register in previous elections. UPND, unfortunately, believes that we are like them. They believe that we are as violent as they are, we are as manipulative as they are; they believe that we engage in these dirty tactics that they do. We are not like them, we are very different. That is the reason why those images ended on social media,” Chanda replied.
He insisted that there was nothing wrong with changing the voter’s registration and that Zambians should not condemn the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)
“One thing that I know is that there has been consistent stakeholder engagement by the ECZ and other stakeholders in this process. If you have a voter registration that is 15 years-old or over 10 years old, I don’t want to imagine how many Zambians in that voter’s register have died, how many Zambians have relocated to different places. What is wrong with saying, ‘can we take stock of who is available or who qualifies to vote?’ Times have changed, technology is evolving. What is wrong with having a new register? For me, I think we have become so suspicious as society. If we injure ECZ’s credibility, we are just doing it to our own peril. What if the same ECZ you are injuring declares you winner next year, what are you going to do? So, let us ensure that we help these institutions that we have set for ourselves to perform better,” he urged.
Meanwhile, Chanda said MMD president Nevers Mumba would land himself in “deep waters” because of his allegation that the ruling party rigged the Lukashya by-election.
“My old man’s problem is a very simple one: a quest for relevance. Now, as it is a quest for relevance, my old man will find himself in very deep waters because of the remarks that he has been uttering. If you are going to allege rigging, the first thing you want to do is go and petition the election. Why isn’t he petitioning the election? When you allege that you had information prior to this election that there had been a set-up to crack into ECZ and manipulate the election results, those are serious allegations. Why do you have to wait until the by-election has gone? You become a potential accomplice to the crime because that is about national security. When you allege that there were pre-marked ballot papers, why didn’t you protest, why did you allow your candidate to contest in the election with all that evidence with you?” wondered Chanda.