UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says President Edgar Lungu is mocking Zambians by insinuating that they are poor because they don’t work hard enough.

Last Thursday, President Lungu said Zambians who say, “there is no money in people’s pockets” are foolish people who forget that money can only be earned through hard work.

But in an interview, Mucheleka argued that it was difficult to earn money legitimately under President Lungu’s leadership.

“All Zambians are working so hard. The Zambian people have tried to work so hard but it is almost impossible to make ends meet. The ones that President Edgar Lungu is saying have worked so hard are the ones who are creating violence, brutality and those you find in the PF. When they brutalise people, when they maim people, they get paid and these are the fellows you see displaying huge sums of money. I can give you a very good example of several PF thugs who have been involved in violence and some of them are appearing in courts. What kind of hard work have they done? Remember that Jay Jay guy in Petauke who today is swimming in huge sums of money? What did he do? He just went and unleashed violence on the Police and today he has huge sums of money. Have you seen this so called ‘Ama Amelican’? Today they have so much money, what kind of hard work have they done? So, we don’t understand the kind of hard work the President is talking about. Haven’t you seen the young doctors who have spent seven years trying to be doctors but are not employed? They are willing and ready to work extra hard, but Lungu would rather give huge sums of money to people,” he said.

“He is driving his agenda for a third term as well as ensuring that violence doesn’t not stop. Do you call that hard work? What about those teachers who have gone to school, trained and are waiting? Lungu would rather spend huge sums of money to ensure that you earn more money in your pocket and then tell you that you are not working hard enough. All these are insults to the public. And today he is mocking the people of Zambia that they are not working hard enough. Yet we have people who have worked so hard but simply cannot make ends meet because the PF has not created a conducive environment for people to create more money. What hard work has those youth who received tankers done? And that’s what he defines as hard work? The people who don’t deserve to be anywhere nearer to earning those huge sums of money are the ones who are getting serious money. President Lungu thinks he can say anything and get away with it, let him be reminded that the time for reckoning is coming and now it’s very close.”

He insisted that President Lungu’s remarks were an insult.

“Look if President Lungu has to insult Zambians let him find a better way of insulting us but he shouldn’t say those who don’t have money in people’s pockets have not worked hard enough to deserve their money, that’s a huge insult. Zambians everywhere are working hard enough to make ends meet but this government has not helped matters in terms of trying to better the lives of its citizens by creating a better working environment that helps them create more money. He is suggesting that Zambians are lazy which is not true at all,” said Mucheleka.