PF deputy national chairperson Davies Chama says the UPND government does not have the capacity to end cadreism.

And Chama has described all of President Hakainde Hichilema’s campaign promises as deception.

Commenting on President Hichilema’s declaration during his inauguration that the UPND would bring an end to thuggery and cadreism, Chama said cadres were still operating in most bus stops.

“I doubt with the way they have been behaving in the opposition because they were not observing the rule of law. When you have cadres who don’t respect the law, they were murdering people, their behaviour in opposition, they have planted a seed that it will be very difficult for them to undo what they were [doing]. The way they were behaving, now that they have the instruments of power, I doubt myself if they will change. I doubt whether he (Hichilema) will be able to manage these people so to speak. The way they were very intolerant towards criticism when they were in opposition, I doubt that they will be tolerant towards criticism. Is he going to be everywhere to control that? I doubt,” Chama said.

“He will not be able to control, I hope he will be firm enough to deliver on that score. I don’t think he has that capacity because even in the opening ceremony there was someone who was following him behind. He is not a police officer. When you are sworn in as President, you are now State property. So that is just a small glimpse of what will follow. So those sweet words that he said, it is just empty! So, we can only hope and wish the Zambian people all the best. So, whether he will be able to finish cadreism, because I have gone round, cadres are everywhere. Even at bus stops, they are everywhere. I received a phone call saying they were harassing people in Lumumba Road just a few days ago. I hope that the pronouncements that he made, he can live up to them but I doubt.”

And Chama accused President Hichilema of deceiving Zambians during campaigns.

“All the promises that HH made whilst he was campaigning, that was total deception. He deceived the Zambian people and there were very unrealistic promises that he made. Sooner rather than later, the Zambian people will be disappointed because the expectation will be very high. You know when you promise the people that you will give them free education from primary to university and the PF government has moved this country from two public universities and now, we have more than nine public universities for that matter,” he said.

“If you remember, all of us were beneficiaries of free education which we are very grateful for, which was provided by the former president, the late Dr Kenneth Kaunda. And if you remember the economy of this country just went down. That policy whilst yes, we benefited, it was unsustainable. Free things are not sustainable. Even if you are an economist or you are not an economist, simple mathematics, if you keep on subtracting and you are not adding, sooner rather than later you go in a negative. In developing countries, people are appeased to free things. These free things are very addictive and they are very attractive.”

Meanwhile, Chama said President Hichilema was not God to eradicate poverty.

“Immediately he made that pronouncement even in opposition, I said this cannot be a leader who can transform this country. That is why he did not even mention the free education that he was preaching about. He didn’t even refer to it. Yes, he is President but he went into that position through deception. He promised that he would eradicate poverty, he is not God to eradicate poverty. Show me a country where poverty has been eradicated completely, there is no country. Poverty can only be eradicated through mind change,” said Chama.

“You know there is so much deception, there are so many lies that have been told. So, for me I cannot even celebrate, for those who are celebrating just wait for one year, even six months, maybe one year is even too long. Yes, the country must be ruled by the rule of law because that is the foundation. If you want to develop the rule of law, rule of law must be observed at all costs without exception.”