NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) national youth chairperson Charles Kabwita says Zambians must choose a new leadership in 2021 because President Edgar Lungu has failed and has resorted to mocking citizens by insinuating that the country is not facing economic challenges.

In an interview, Kabwita said President Lungu’s remarks that he “laughed and chuckled every time Zambians said things were bad in the country” showed that he is a bad leader, who remained aloof to the country’s economic malaise, which had afflicted citizens.

“President Lungu has failed! I regret having voted for President Lungu twice in 2015 and 2016, I wasted my vote! I want to apologise for that. This is a leader who has made so many mistakes; this is a leader who everybody knows in this country that everything is not okay, economically, we are even failing to pay the debt and then he is on record saying that he ‘laughs at people who say that things in Zambia are bad.’ What sort of a President is he? This President should have given us hope that whatever problems we are going through, they will be fixed. Surely, the whole lot of the President can go and say, ‘I laugh at people who say things are bad in Zambia?’ Who doesn’t know that things are bad in Zambia? We are basically living on the grace of God, not because there’s leadership. Zambians are living by the grace of God,” Kabwita said.

“People are suffering! The economic benefit that was supposed to trickle down cannot be felt by any Zambian because the planning is not okay. Who is benefiting from those roads? The roads that they are putting up are not durable; their life-span is not worth their salt. We are living because of the grace of God, this leadership should be grateful to God because God has been very merciful on the people of Zambia. I am shocked that President Lungu can say that! Please be serious, this is not comedy. We have suffered a lot and then he should go there to mock us, who is he? We gave him that job to lead us and then today he says, ‘he laughs at us when we say things are bad?’ Does he know what we go through just to make sure that we put a bag of mealie meal just for people to eat?”

He called on Zambians to critically evaluate President Lungu’s performance from 2015 to-date to make a better decision next August.

“President Lungu is the weakest candidate for 2021; if I stood against President Lungu, he can’t beat me by far. He is the weakest candidate for 2021. For us, we get encouraged when the PF say they want Lungu to go for a third term. For us, we want Lungu. I want to appeal to all Zambians to evaluate President Lungu’s performance from 2015, 2016 up today as we are going back for election,” Kabwita said.

“We should first of all reflect very much on the number of issues the President and his regime have put us through. There is so much poverty in this country. If corruption was development, President Lungu would have scored! We should ensure that when we go for the 2021 election, we elect leaders that have the heart of the people and not their own benefits.”

And Kabwita urged President Lungu to apologise for misleading the nation on the illegal stay of Cabinet ministers in office in 2016 after Parliament was dissolved.

“I am asking President Lungu to apologise to the people of Zambia for having misled his Cabinet ministers, who stayed in his office illegally upon his guidance. When President Lungu did that, we all thought that him being a lawyer he had consulted and studied the Constitution to the letter. The President said the problem is that we don’t read, to the contrary; it’s him who does not take time to read! Many a time the President has made terrible mistakes. To this effect, President Lungu should consider apologising,” said Kabwita.