COUNCIL of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) General Secretary Fr Emmanuel Chikoya has advised the UPND government not to be overconfident because they might have a rude awakening.

In an interview, Fr Chikoya said Zambians wanted a better and efficient government.

He said the overwhelming turnout on voting day and at the inauguration ceremony was an indication that citizens were expectant and hungry for efficiency.

“The nation has definitely not changed from green to red to do business as usual. If that is their modus operandi, then they will have a rude awakening because people want a better and efficient government. People want order. Remember, not to be tribal, remember, not to be too confident. Be in touch with the people. If you begin to do what they (PF) did, then people will not tolerate that. The overwhelming turnout on the voting day and the inauguration is an indication that people are expectant, they are hungry for efficiency, for professionalism. They need the much needed constitutional and institutional reviews. They won’t settle for anything else. People are tired of the militarization of cadres, intimidation of the police, human rights abuse, we are not going to tolerate it. We would like to see a scenario where they commit to nothing but the best,” Fr Chikoya said.

He said it was the dawn of a new era for the country.

“When you see the turnout, it is clear that people are eager for a new beginning, it is the dawn of a new era and people are expectant, people are looking forward to the restoration of the rule of law. People are looking forward to a country where we are all Zambians and to be treated as such. They are looking for an environment that will make them thrive, an environment that will make them be productive and earn a decent living. It is more like the season we got independence. There is excitement in the air,” Fr Chikoya said.

Fr Chikoya further urged the PF government to admit their wrongs and to apologize.

He however said the plundered resources should be recovered.

“The person that has offended another should be able to recognize and be able to say sorry. Cheap grace is not sustainable. For example, if someone plundered the resources, they have to recover that. While forgiveness can be exercised, there must be recognition by those that offended that they did wrong and they should be able to admit their wrongs. Admit they were overconfident,” said Fr Chikoya.

“Senior people in the leadership made very strong pronouncements which have backfired on them. It is good to be humble. They failed to interpret the time. Consequently, they were in some clouds elsewhere, divorced from reality. They never heard the cries of the people, the poor marketers being harassed every day, telephone booth operators being harassed every day, bus drivers being harassed. Plundering of resources, high levels of corruption, they were disconnected. Reality hits them now.”