UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says Justice Minister Given Lubinda has demonstrated that PF is not there to improve Zambians’ livelihoods, but to loot the country’s resources.

Last week, Lubinda said being in the opposition felt like being an orphan because there was a lot of suffering and that it was too early for the PF to give up the responsibility of running government.

But Imenda argued that Lubinda was mocking Zambians because his utterances proved the PF were not genuinely interested in uplifting citizens’ living standards, but wanted to continue looting the country’s resources.

“We have taken note of Given Lubinda’s statement in today’s Diggers! Newspaper in which he said, ‘he cannot go back to opposition as doing so would subject him to suffering and would be seen as an orphaned person.’ What Given Lubinda has demonstrated is that the Patriotic Front is not there to improve the livelihood of the people of Zambia, but to loot. We have been vindicated on PF corruption and their failure to run the country. If Lubinda is constipated in PF, he should realise that council workers have gone four months without salaries! If Lubinda and his PF are swimming in money as we have seen on social media, UNZA lecturers have not been paid their gratuity since 2014. If Lubinda has turned money into beddings, poor Zambians are going to bed on an empty stomach. When Lubinda talks about the opposition, he is not talking about president Hakainde Hichilema because our president has more than what he needs. In other words, Lubinda is mocking Zambians,” Imenda said in response to a press query.

“Lubinda should know that even PF members are suffering; poverty is affecting all Zambians, except Lubinda and his corrupt friends in the Cabinet. We live next door to PF members who are jobless and are crying day and night for help. Thus, Lubinda should not insult Zambians after destroying the economy. While Lubinda and his fellow ministers are taking their children abroad for flamboyant education, marketeers, bus drivers, bus conductors and call-boys are struggling to take their children to school due to the bad economy created by Lubinda and his friends! We urge Lubinda to have integrity and stop mocking citizens who have been subjected to abject poverty by PF.”

And Imenda said UPND would ensure that Zambians shared the national cake when elected into power this August.

“When the UPND comes into power through a democratic process in August, we shall ensure that Zambians share the national cake and enjoy from all the resources the country is endowed with. While Zambians cannot afford three meals in a day, Lubinda and his PF friends are busy awarding each other contracts. We said it before and we are still saying that PF is not there to run the country; they are there to run-down the economy. The US $42million fire tender saga; the costly US $288,000 ambulances each; the supply of expired drugs and medical supplies to citizens all go to demonstrate how dirty-minded and uncaring the PF is. Further, Lubinda and the PF are busy swimming in money and their cadres are flashing money all over social media when UNZA is planning to downsize staff so as to reduce its expenditure at the expense of quality education,” said Imenda.

Speaking when he met aspiring candidates and party officials in Kasama, Saturday, Lubinda, who is also Kabwata PF member of parliament, said that his party did not want to go back to the opposition because they would be subjected to untold suffering.

“Echo tulefwaya chakuti mu 2050, abana ngabaisa iminina ukuti who did this, bakalande ukutila in PF na Edgar Chagwa Lungu (What we want is that in 2050, when our children ask: ‘who did this?’ People should say ‘it is Edgar Chagwa Lungu and PF.) That is what we are working for. We are not working for ourselves. Nga chakutila (if) we are working for ourselves, nga twalilandile (we would have said) what is the use? We have been there for five years, natupanga utu mashina, (we have made our names) let’s go. But no, it is too early to give up the responsibility of governing Zambia,” said Lubinda.

“Mwebanandi ukuba mu opposition is a big problem. Ukuba mu opposition buwelele. Ukuba mu opposition nifilya fine nga umwana wa nshiwa. Ndemyeba ifi because for 10 years nali mu opposition and I know how it feels. Nga pali imwe there are some who joined PF elyo twawinine mu 2011, you are lucky. Fweba pitile mu opposition mumpanga, mukuchula, we don’t want to go back. Tatulefwaya ukubwelela iyo (Being in the opposition is a problem. It is a sickness, it is like you are an orphan. I am telling you this because for 10 years we were in the opposition, and I know how it feels. If there are people that joined the party in 2011, you are lucky, those of us who were in opposition, moving in the bush, suffering, we don’t want to go back there).”