IKELENG’I UPND member of parliament Elijah Muchima says President Edgar Lungu is deliberately appointing people from two regions and that it is not a coincidence.

And Muchima says the ruling Patriotic Front should focus on governing the country and not attacking UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Last week, special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe said President Edgar Lungu appointed people based on their competence to perform duties, and that it was just a coincidence that he appointed permanent secretaries from only two regions.

He said whenever tribe became an issue for consideration, quality was compromised.

But in an interview, Muchima said every tribe had competent people.

“You cannot compromise quality, which tribe hasn’t got quality? Every tribe has quality, experienced people, they are doing it deliberately. If you check from permanent secretaries, ministers, including those nominated, it goes without saying they are only concentrating on two tribes. This country under first president Kenneth Kaunda they struggled so much to unite the nation even the first Cabinet was a replica of all nations. To unite the country you need all sorts of ingredients, these ingredients are tribes, balance them. Even the projects they are only going only to certain areas. This government is so divisive, it doesn’t balance the equation. But taxes come from everywhere, they don’t have a selection where the taxes are coming from. I come from North-Western Province there is nothing that we can talk about that this PF government is talking about in terms of appointments, in terms of development and yet this is a province which is contributing so much to the GDP,” Muchima said.

“Look at the road infrastructure, so poor. Apart from the Chingola- Solwezi road which has been controversial. All the roads from Solwezi to Mwinulunga are as if we are in a foreign country. But the PF have got so much money they are using for campaigns. They are distributing it like they are distributing fertilizer, you ask them they are saying ‘it is empowerment’ which empowerment when we are failing to pay creditors. Which is more crucial to us? It is the creditors because if you don’t pay they penalise us. Everyone knows and everyone has seen that to be appointed one needs to be a cadre, you must belong to a certain tribe.”

He reminded PF that president Kaunda chose diversity of tribes in his governance approach because he wanted to created a united peaceful nation.

“I cherish what Kaunda used to do, we need to solidify our relationship in this country, that is where we anchor our peace. But when you seem to be siding it causes big problems. It took may years to bring Zambia to wherever it is but we are quick to start cracking it again. This Zambia is not about two areas, it is about ten provinces and the proceeds of the country should be spread to the ten provinces equally. You go to the people that don’t like you because there is a reason why they don’t like you, go there so that you buy peace, bring them on board,” he said.

“President Levy Mwanawasa was not voted for that time in Luapula, in Northern and in Western but look he constructed bridges. If he was there, people would have forced him to be there because he showed unity. We need a balanced leader. How did it happen in Kaunda days? How did it happen in Chiluba days? How did it happen in Mwanawasa days includin Sata, he was trying. Why should it be today that quality is only from one tribe? For Gold, for Copper they are busy coming to North-Western but for development they are looking elsewhere. That agitates the people of Zambia.”

Meanwhile, Muchima said the PF should stop attacking Hichilema

“And they [PF] should stop attacking HH, they have bigger issues to deal with in terms of governance, you start following HH. He is a Zambian and he has a democratic right to be elected like any other person. We have seen other people saying different things, we should also dig deep into what they have been doing. HH owning land are private issues but they just want to pin him. They talked about privatisation it is dead, now they are on this small cases. There are people who need government intervention, people who are in prison they need someone to talk on their behalf,” said Muchima.