NEWLY appointed PF national youth chairman Antonio Mwanza says it’s impossible for the UPND government to deliver on their campaign promises because they were populist pledges aimed at winning the polls.
Meanwhile, Mwanza says PF expects more of their weak, disloyal members to leave the party because it is a normal trend in African politics when a ruling party loses power.
In an interview, Thursday, Mwanza said he expected nothing but leadership from the UPND as their honeymoon was over.
He said as an opposition party, PF would be a critical and sober voice.
“It would be very important if the President can tell Zambians what particular issues he is looking at when he is talking about tax regime. It’s not just a blanket statement, we don’t need blanket statements. We need specifics because where we are right now is the tax regime in the mining area, and if it’s in the mining sector, what particular reforms is he looking at as far as tax is concerned? If it is in the public sector, what particular tax reforms are we talking about? If it’s in the private sector, what are the particular tax reforms that he is looking at? The reason is simple, it’s because government policy must be derived from general consensus. It is because the people of Zambia have a responsibility to contribute to the government’s proposed reforms. So clearly, we don’t expect much from this new government. But what we will do ourselves as an opposition political party and this we can promise the Zambian people, is that we will not use hatred, malice, bitterness, and insults to engage with the UPND,” Mwanza said.
“We will engage them on policy issues, and we will criticize them on policy matters. We will give them proper and credible checks and balances. The PF is not going anywhere, the PF is here to stay and the PF in opposition will be a critical voice, a very critical and sober voice against the UPND government. The honeymoon for UPND is over, the President has been sworn in, we expect nothing but leadership, we expect nothing but for them to deliver on their promises. If you look at the list of promises they have made, it is not possible for them to deliver. The list of promises was made simply for populist purposes to win an election. In government, that laundry that they have put up as a list of promises, they will not be able to deliver and we will be here to hold them accountable.”
And Mwanza said he did not expect much from the UPND government because they did not have a credible manifesto to run government programmes.
“Definitely and absolutely, we don’t expect much from the UPND government because first of all, this is a party that has formed government on the background of the fact that they don’t have any credible manifesto to run government programmes. A party manifesto is key in the management of the government programmes because all policies and programmes that a political party in power implements are hinged on its party manifesto. When we looked at the party manifesto of the UPND, it is clear that it doesn’t inspire hope, it doesn’t inspire confidence. Because there is really nothing in that copy and paste manifesto that UPND is proposing for economic, social, and political management of this country,” he said.
“His Excellency President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema wrote on his page that his economic team is looking into issues of our tax regime. Now it is good that the President is talking about his economic team looking into the tax regime but Zambians deserve to know who are these people comprising the team. Zambians deserve to know who these people are because the issues that His Excellency President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema is dealing with are no longer UPND issues, these are national issues. So we wish to know who is in his economic team so that we can see their credentials, their experience.”
Meanwhile, Mwanza said PF expected more of their members to leave the party as it was a trend in African politics when a ruling party loses power.
“First of all, we know that in the history of this country from the time UNIP lost power in 1991, when MMD lost power in 2011 and now the PF has lost power in 2021, we know that there is a general trend of some politicians to migrate. Simply to move from one political party to the next and we don’t expect this trend to change. It is a trend well entrenched in African politics because African politics by their very nature are migratory. The people migrate from one political party to the next. It is a very common thing in African politics, it is not like in Europe or the United States of America,” said Mwanza.
“African politics are very migratory. We expect that we will continue to see some of the weak souls, weak souls who are not loyal to the principles of the Patriotic Front, continue moving. You cannot stop people from moving, it’s their democratic right to associate with any political party of their choice. If they feel they have to go to the UPND, we as the party will respect their democratic right. But we believe the majority of the leadership, followership of PF will remain intact and PF will continue to grow.”