FORMER Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda says the promises being made by the PF during the campaign period should not be taken seriously.

And Shamenda says it is immoral for the PF government to threaten resident doctors with dismissal for simply demanding what is due to them.

Commenting on Vice-President Inonge Wina’s remarks that the PF would ensure that it awards contracts to Zambians in the next five years, Shamenda told News Diggers! that the PF government had no political will to implement the programmes that they had set out.

“There are promises which have been on the drawing board for a long time. So, already they have answers to why those promises cannot be kept. The past five years was a long time to implement those things. Suddenly, how is it that they will be implemented in the next five years? It is like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I don’t think there is any political will from this government to change a lot of things or to implement most of the programmes,” Shamenda said.

Shamenda further said it was time for the PF to leave the stage.

“If you have tested people for 10 years, 27 years UNIP, 20 years MMD, I think it is time for another political party to leave the stage. The other ones just give them five years so that the politicians should say ‘if we don’t perform, others were there for 27 years, 20 years, 10 years we may only be there for five years’, then I think people will be on their toes. You won’t be able to take people for granted. Look at the people who have [been] empowered, who are being given contracts? It is cadres! So, it may be worse in the next five years,” he said.

And Shamenda said it was immoral for government to threaten doctors with dismissal for demanding what government owed them.

“It is immoral to threaten somebody with dismissal, someone whom you have not paid. If there are negotiations and people are making new demands and the government has no resources, that can be explained and you can discuss. It is immoral to threaten someone you owe money. It is like you owe me money then I come and ask you to come and pay me back, then you start threatening me, that is immoral. If anything, it is you who is supposed to be threatened, it is you who is supposed to be arrested. You owe somebody, then they say ‘I am going to go on a go slow’, you are supposed to be pleading with them instead of threatening them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shamenda said government was playing with people’s lives by not meeting the conditions of the doctors.

“It is the responsibility of government to provide medical facilities and to make sure that the doctors are in the wards. Even if the doctors are being unreasonable, a good government for the benefit of those people who are going to hospitals to access health, you have to deal with them cautiously. Even if you force them to go and work in the hospitals, if they are not happy what type of services are they going to provide to the citizens? This is at a critical moment; you are playing with the lives of people! Don’t even jump to accuse the doctors that it is political, how can it be political when someone has not been paid? What is political about it?” wondered Shamenda.

“Those who are condemning doctors and threatening doctors, ask them whether they have been paid or not. Ask them when last did they get their salary, those are the same guys who are busy chasing their allowances, salaries and all their benefits.”