UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda says Zambia is now one of the poorest countries in the world because of PF, hence the need for a new government.

Reacting to remarks by PF Presidential running mate Professor Nkandu Luo in which she urged Mpulungu headmen to vote for President Edgar Lungu arguing that change was dangerous, Imenda said those sentiments were misleading and dangerous.

“That was a very dangerous statement and very misleading coming from someone who is always controversial whenever she makes a statement. Had we not changed Zambia from the British government, today we were still going to be under colonial rule. Kenneth Kaunda managed to liberate this country because there was change. Change brought freedom, free education and so many developmental issues that have made what Zambia is today. That is change. When we felt Kenneth Kaunda had done enough and that we needed change in the direction of bringing better things compared to what was being done by the UNIP government, again in 1991, we changed,” Imenda said.

“We saw the liberalization of our economy and moved from queuing for essential commodities to a situation where today we have so many malls. We later realised that there was again need for change after the MMD government was no longer doing fine. When Fredrick Chiluba decided to perpetuate his rule by wanting to go through the third term, we said no, we want change. We saw the change by the emergence of Levy Mwanawasa. He brought some unprecedented development. That was as a result of change and that is how much we appreciate change.”

Imenda said change was inevitable because the PF government had turned Zambia into one of the poorest countries in the world.

“With change comes good things and sometimes it brings with it bad things, but there is need for change. There is no country or people who can be static because if you are static, you are bound to crash. Being static means you are dead and if you do not change, you are bound to die. It is only those who are dead that do not change. As long as one is alive, one has to change. Today, she is a running mate because there was change. In fact, if there is any change where people regret it is her party’s change. The fact that the PF came into power is enough reason for people to want change because they regret [electing them],” he said.

“From the MMD government which brought this country into a middle economy, we are now back to one of the poorest countries in the world. So people are now seeing the need to move forward to change for the better because we have a party that is resolved to bring this country where it belongs. This country belongs to the Zambians. That is why the Zambian people are saying ‘we want change’ and therefore change will come. Let her continue dreaming about this country being static because dreams are free.”

Imenda added that PF leaders were just securing jobs at the expense of Zambians.

“These people are just looking for jobs. They know that they have made a lot of blunders and they know that. As it is now today, the Zambian people know very well that this is not the Zambia they hoped for and this is not the Zambia they want. The Zambia they wanted is one where the fertilizer was affordable. This year they have made an attempt to deliver fertilizer on time but it is not merely bringing inputs on time but it is delivering affordable fertilizer. We know that the source of fertilizer is very cheap where it is being imported from. However, through ways that are not good which are being instituted, fertilizer is being bought from expensive sources so that people can have some commission. That is not what the Zambians want,” he stated.

“The Zambian people found bags of mealie meal at K45 but today, the prices have skyrocketed. Food generally is expensive and inflation has gone up to the point where people cannot afford commodities. Look at the Kwacha, they found it at K4.50 but today it is above K20. The Zambians are seeing that. You will see a situation where unemployed people are flashing money all over but employees like yourself are struggling to reach the month-end, where are they getting that money? Is that what is called management? They are busy flashing money whose source is not known. Those are the vices of bad governance.”

Imenda further noted that the PF government had built hospitals which lacked drugs and adequate health personnel.

“How do you build a hospital and just leave it as a building? Hospitals are about medicines, qualified and adequate staff. It is not about buildings. People go to hospitals to be treated and not to look at buildings. You cannot go to the hospital and sleep on the floor because you are coming from a nice bed in your own home. People want medicines and qualified health personnel but that is what is lacking in their hospitals. She is talking about roads but which ones. Even in Northern Province, let her go to Lupososhi all the way up to Chilubi mainland, that is when she will know that there is no development that they have brought. All the way from Lundazi, if you have to get a bit of a smooth ride, you will have to go through Malawi and then back to Zambia. So what development is she talking about?” he wondered.

Meanwhile, Imenda urged civil servants not to be deceived by the promises being made by the PF government.

“Today they are saying they would like to reschedule the loans of civil servants, what a joke. What workers in general want are salary increments. This decision is a postponed problem because it will catch up with them. All what people need are salary increments from which they will be able to pay back their loans, feed children, meet all bills and reserve a little bit of money in your account. That is what the workers want. That is what we are going to provide as the UPND. We are going to create job employment with decent incomes. This is what the Zambian people should know. The civil servants know that as soon as the PF, God forbid, comes back to power, all those fake promises will be reversed and there will be no apologies for five years and the civil servants will languish. So please civil servants, my humble appeal to you is open your eyes because you are in serious problems. You are being duped into believing what does not exist,” said Imenda.