UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says only direct beneficiaries of the K30 million artists fund will vote for the Patriotic Front in 2021.

Reacting to remarks by Tourism and Arts minister Ronald Chitotela who, early this week in Parliament, said artists had assured him that they would vote for President Edgar Lungu in 2021 because of the K30 million incentive given to them, Kakoma stated that redeeming the arts sector was beyond the allocated money and urged the Pambashe PF member of parliament to stop misleading the nation.

He stated that the minister should have indicated that the direct beneficiaries of the fund were ready to vote for PF instead of issuing a blanket statement.

“Mr Chitotela should have informed parliament that the direct beneficiaries of the K30 million incentive were ready to vote for Edgar Lungu instead of making a blanket and misleading statement. Does the Minister have quantifiable data to enable Government make informed decisions about the possibility of awakening Zambia’s creative industry and growing the GDP therefrom? The Minister should realise that artists need a clearer knowledge-based mapping of the sector to enhance a definite policy direction. We are aware that the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC), a body mandated to develop, regulate and promote all forms of arts in Zambia has nine (9) affiliated associations. And the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) under which the beneficiaries of K30 million fall has its own challenges beyond Mr Chitotela’s understanding,” Kakoma stated.

He added that there were still artists who felt neglected in the country’s creative industry.

“Additionally, we are aware that veteran artists, seasoned artists, including up and coming artists from across all art disciplines, feel the huge neglect of the creative industry in Zambia and redeeming the sector is far beyond the K30 million incentive being boasted about,” Kakoma added.

He further stated that the party would engage artists and ensure the industry got the attention it deserved.

“As the United Party for National Development (UPND), we appreciate that the creative industry has great potential to provide employment to millions of citizens and contribute immensely to Zambia’s GDP. We shall engage artists and build on the exciting foundation until the creative industry gets the attention it well deserves,” stated Kakoma.

“Mr Chitotela must understand that different forms of arts from different fields of art come into play to push for change of Government such as cartoons, music, political messaging, speech writing, graphic designing, advertising, textile and fashion (regalia) without politicizing the creative industry.”