NEW Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka says she has come to offer a breath of fresh air and an alternative to a nation whose political landscape has become stagnant and ineffective.
And Kateka says only those supporting or sympathizing with the ruling party are enjoying the fruits and labor of the founding fathers.
Speaking during the launch of the party, Wednesday, Kateka said her party believed in bettering the livelihoods of people.
“New Heritage Party is a party that seeks to retain Zambia to the aspirations of respect for freedom of choice, assembly and expression among many fundamental human rights. And also believes in better livelihoods for our people. A party that is committed in bringing in a breath of fresh air into a nation whose political landscape has become stagnant and ineffective and to offer an alternative to the Zambian youths, to the Zambian women and men who now feel that they are no longer comfortable with the status quo as offered by the existing political parties,” Kateka said.
“The Heritage party as you may know was formed in 2001 by men and women of sound standing and integrity led by Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda. The heritage party with its innovative policies and ideals went on to win some seats at local government level and in Parliament. The party was deregistered last year in 2019 at the behest of its founding President. Now because the party has not fulfilled its mandate, the party is being revived and has been re-registered by some of the founder members who strongly feel that there is a cause, a Zambian cause, a cause that is still worth fighting for. A cause that was started by our founding fathers. We have not attained that to which we set ourselves 56 years ago. And if we give up at this time, Zambia as we hope to know it will not attain the goals that we have set ourselves and as a people of Zambia we must not allow such a thing to happen. We must not lose hope. We must go to where we need to go.”
She said Zambians that thought differently and believed in different ways of running the country or improving the state of the economy were treated with disdain.
“56 years ago Zambia swore to be proud and free in their land. However, 56 years later Zambians we find ourselves under the burden of heavy debt and government patronage. Today, Zambia is a poor and heavily indebted country. We owe and are failing to pay nkongole (debt) amounting to US$27 billion to both domestic and foreign lenders. Only those who are in support of the party in government or sympathize with them are the ones that enjoy the fruits and labors of our founding fathers. Only those that sing the right song of support enjoy government jobs and contract what about the rest of us? Today Zambians that think differently and believe in different ways of running the country or improving the state of the economy are treated with disdain or treated as enemies of the state in their own country. These Zambians are always at the receiving end of the justice system that is harsh to anyone that is perceived to be anti- establishment,” she said.
Kateka said Zambians must not allow their country to slip any further than it already had.
“As we consider where we are as Zambians, we need to ask ourselves some hard questions – What sort of Zambia we are leaving our posterity? What is the Heritage of those coming after us? What is our role in ensuring that after we are gone, we leave behind a Zambia that is proud and free, a land of work and joy in unity, a land that is victorious in its undertakings? We are inviting all Zambians that would like to add value to this great nation to join hands with us. Let us work together and build this nation,” she said.
“But we can only build the nation if we get this country back. You know we have lost it to those who we should not have lost it to. One of the things I notice about us Zambians is that we tend to look at issues when something goes wrong, we say ‘iye is that what they have done?’ and we leave at that. Then they do something else. Meanwhile, we are watching our country going down the drain. We must not allow our country to slip any further than it already has. Let us take charge of our destiny, let us take charge of our country. No one is going to resolve these issues apart from ourselves. Let hold hands together.”
Meanwhile, Kateka said the party was not a surrogate of any existing formation.
“The there are those that are saying that we have come only to split the votes. There are many Zambians who are not satisfied with the current options and are merely settling for what they consider a lesser not so good option and have been looking for a credible alternative. We have come to provide that alternative. Others are saying that we are a surrogate party. Surrogate to whom? Those that know me and what I stand for will laugh out loud. I have continuously stood for and continue to stand for the cause of Zambia and its people. I am fully persuaded that it is time for Zambians to get a leadership that will be committed to steering the country in the right direction,” said Kateka.