THE CURRENT economic position is genuine, things are difficult and even those in the opposition don’t have a solution, says PF chairperson for legal affairs Brian Mundubile.
And Mundubile says political parties joining camp with the PF have realised that there is no need for multiplicity of presidential candidates as the August 12th election is a two-horse race between the reds and greens.
In an interview, Tuesday, Mundubile said the prevailing economic crisis was a chance for the opposition to prove that they had solutions for the country.
“We are saying if there is something we are doing wrong tell us. We are here to listen because after all an opposition political party is a party in waiting, it’s a government in waiting. So, the moment you can’t even share ideas, it means that that particular political party would have momentarily separated itself from the governance system. For instance, let’s pick our opponents, the UPND being the largest opposition political party. We have issues in the economy now. Everybody agrees. The Patriotic Front party has tried by all means to set the platform upon which we can begin to industrialise, and it’s out of industrialisation that we can create employment. Because now we have got the roads, we have got the power lines, we have got communication towers. The foundation has been laid, that cannot be denied. So, the much talked about potential in terms of natural resources, the question that we must ask ourselves, those that came before us, is it that they were not sharp enough? Is it that they didn’t see these resources? They saw them, but the methodology used to realise the potential may be what they got wrong,” he said.
“I come from Northern Province and in my district alone there are 17 waterfalls and they have been there for hundreds of years. But how do we realise potential if there are no roads leading to those places. So, all [what] the PF has done is to lay the platform upon which the economy can begin to grow. In the meantime, together with other challenges, Covid, floods, the economy is facing challenges. Now, you see there is no hero without a crisis. So, if somebody was looking to be a hero, this was going to be the time. Imagine if we had a political party that came up and said alright, you have crafted your economic recovery programme, we have got ours. Let’s go to Pamodzi and have a discussion. I think that would be a much sharper campaign. So, our view is that where the economy is right now, it’s a genuine position. Things are difficult. Even our friends in the opposition do not have a solution. If they did, we would have heard it. We would have heard it. They would have used it as a number one campaign tool and laid bare to the Zambian people.”
And Mundubile says political parties joining camp with the PF have realised that there was no need for multiplicity of presidential candidates as the 12th August election.
“But if you are going to have through your manifestos plagiarised documents, then we have a problem. And we are going to release our manifesto in the next few weeks or so, it will be very comprehensive. Now imagine that you find a document embedded that was picked from Facebook, immediately the impression you have is that there is no seriousness. People don’t understand that we have reduced sleeping hours. The life I led in my private sector running a business, is all changed. My friend can’t even call me for a drink because I need to think. So, if the planning is bad and you just want to get to State House, reality will dawn. So, we are saying that going forward, we need to interact as political parties to find solutions for Zambia. What characterised the conference was friendship and love. We haven’t seen that sort of interaction like we saw that day. It’s not long ago when political parties would exchange profanities towards each other. But we saw political parties coming together confirming one principle, that even in diversity we can co-exist. That is the beginning of understanding politics from a higher place,” he said.
“The moment we get to that level which is the level where most other jurisdictions are functioning, then we will all enjoy being politicians. What we saw is the beginning of the change of complexion in our political landscape. That conference was special, the in-fighting that people talk about, we didn’t see it. Because one, you have got your general conference the highest decision-making meeting and you call opposition political parties and give them a platform. When you give somebody a microphone, they can say anything. There were no scripts that were presented before and they took time to speak. You have independent minds, for instance president Wynter Kabimba, he is a very independent person. If you are wrong, he will criticise you. President Nawakwi these are straight forward people they will come and say it is as it is. Peter Chanda, Chishimba Kambwili. They have said look, there can only be one leader at a time. And because there can only be one lead at a time, why should we have a multiplicity of presidential candidates? Right now, we know that it’s a two-man race, it’s red and green. So, political parties not that you say go this way mechanically no! Let’s identify ourselves with ideologies. We think that we have something in common, let’s talk. So that you get your best numbers. So, PF took that chance.”