FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji says the opposition have tied their own hands because they have refused to associate with government in delivering development to the people.

Commenting on Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu’s remarks that it was cowardice for the PF to go into an election with their opponent’s hands and legs tied up due to the uneven playing field, Malanji said the opposition had tied their own hands because they had nothing to sell to the people.

“First of all, how has the hand of the opposition been tied? The opposition is not selling anything, they are only selling an individual. Even when you go to a church, you will appreciate the doctrine and not the priest. So, when you look at the opposition, to start with they have always been threatening their members of parliament from interacting with government. When they see that this one was seen at the local government, it is trouble, this one was seen at Home Affairs. There are members of parliament who were seen with me in the last session and they were reprimanded. During adoption they asked their members of parliament ‘what have you done for the constituency?’, now do you expect that member of parliament to bring development to that constituency from their pocket only? That is where the problem is,” Malanji said.

“I have gone round Western Province, I have gone round North Western, Central and people are basically saying enough is enough for the opposition. So, when you look at the scenario like that, how are their hands tied? Because if there were a party that wanted to come into government for arguments sake, take Southern Province, they should have displayed their prowess as a party in waiting to form government. Now, they have nothing to show for, even accountability of CDF, if you go in these constituencies, you will find that there is nothing to show for. So that crying, I know how it feels when you already know that you are losing. Everywhere it is enough is enough. So, with due respect Archbishop Mpundu, we don’t want to play ping pong with him. There are no hands of the opposition which are tied, they have tied themselves by restraining their members executing their duties of service delivery to the people. That is how they have tied their hands themselves.”

Malanji said the UPND should not blame PF on the uneven playing field because they had failed to support Constitutional Amendment Bill 10.

“I would tell you that a good number of people from the opposition are coming to say their president was not fair over bill 10. They said even this Public Order Act, we could have dealt with it, themselves this [is] when they are coming that he was not fair. The playing field, they have made it bad themselves within the opposition, their members are crying blaming one person. So, those themselves are blaming their president, so how do you bring in PF? There are several who have come to complain that this man doesn’t mean well. So, it is not us to blame, but how they were carrying out service delivery as an opposition. Members of parliament were going into Parliament with a preconceived mind, ‘because the boss has told us to go and say no’, even something that is straight forward,” he said.

Malanji said the party was confident of winning the elections because the people understood that the PF had tried to revive the economy.

“We are confident because we talk to the people, when you talk to the people that is how we sell. Seriously, even what we are going through the drought, COVID pandemic they have seen how we have tried. Two years before COVID we had droughts, no electricity and from UNIP it is only the PF who has done generation points. It is because we meet with the people that is why we are confident. PF will carry the day. People know that what is happening, it is not only here in Zambia and SADC, most of these things it is an act of force majeure, it is not man made, so they understand. They know that we have tried, they understand where we are coming from, they have seen what is happening in other countries. So, there is a yardstick,” said Malanji.