FORMER General Education Minister David Mabumba says President Edgar Lungu and the ruling PF have transformed the country in the last nine years.

And Mabumba says the high cost of living is not because President Lungu has failed to deliver but is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview, Mabumba said the party was seeking another term in office so that they could complete developmental works which they started.

“Even in other places where I am not the MP in Luapula, there is development which has taken place. You remember Kawambwa Tea Company was almost closed, it was just a shell, [but] today Kawambwa is up and running. Here in Mwense, Mununshi Banana Scheme which was one of the largest banana companies in Zambia was closed. Today President Lungu has revitalised the Mununshi Banana Scheme. So, when I look at development in this region, I think the PF in the last nine years has been able to deliver development. But what we are saying as we are seeking this mandate from our people is that we have not been able to complete the development. Development is an ongoing journey,” he said.

Mabumba said the PF had delivered beyond people’s expectations.

“The fact is that PF continues to receive overwhelming support from the people of Luapula Province, including those in Mwense Constituency where I am standing. If I speak for Mwense where I am, the development that PF has been able to deliver in the nine years meets the expectations of the people, in fact beyond the expectations of the people. There was UNIP for 27 years, there was MMD for 20 years, there was nothing in Mwense, I am speaking now for Mwense,” he said.

“There was nothing to show about in Mwense that the government had delivered. There were no banks in Mwense but PF through me, we brought banks. There was no hospital, we brought the hospital here. There was no college, we brought the college here. Villages had no piped water, this is the first time in the history of my constituency that we have had more than 15 water projects. So, with that analysis I am giving you, surely even if people are blind, why should they go and vote for somebody else? Because they have been able to see development at their doorstep. I only found one secondary school, the other one was not complete, I have been able to add six more secondary schools.”

And Mabumba said the high cost of living should be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic which had affected the supply chain.

He added that commodities like fuel were cheaper in Zambia compared to other countries in the region.

“While we recognise that the prices of things have gone up, it is not because of President Lungu failing to deliver but because of the COVID-19 which has affected the supply chain. What is important is to explain to the people that this is not peculiar to Zambia. My brother lives in the UK, right now my brother has come back from the UK and he was telling me that he wants to come back. Because when you look at a litre of fuel in the UK, it is closer to K30. But in Zambia how much is it? It is K15.9 and K17. When you look at Nakonde like other people have said, people are coming from other neighbouring countries to come and buy fuel in the Republic of Zambia, why? Because here fuel is cheaper compared to other countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mabumba called on Zambians to re-elect President Lungu so that he could continue fixing the economy.

“Again, as we seek this new mandate, the President and his team will focus on making sure that we manage the economy and deliver a better economy to the Zambian people compared to what it is now. When you look at the campaign material, the other example I can give you, I wanted to buy T-shirts in Tanzania, they were more expensive compared to Zambia. So, it is not only in Zambia in terms of the pricing structure, it is across the globe,” said Mabumba.

“The President is very much focused on managing the economy so that we can deliver to our people. Our appeal, you see the election is an appeal process, we have to appeal to the Zambian people based on the developmental agenda of President Lungu and his team. We are of the considered view that the Zambians should give him another mandate so that he can complete the projects that he has started. So that he can look at other priority areas of the economy and have them fixed.”