PF vice-president Given Lubinda says PF is very happy to see that almost half of “President Bally’s” Cabinet consists of people who were also in the MMD government.

Commenting on the unveiled Cabinet in an interview, Lubinda said President Hakainde Hichilema had created high expectations when he promised Zambians that his Cabinet would be accepted by everyone.

“All those who have been appointed in the UPND Alliance Cabinet truly deserve to be congratulated for three reasons. Number one; it is very clear that President Bally was totally shocked to have been elected winner of the elections. Number two; he had set his standards very high when he promised the Zambian people that his Cabinet is going to be a Cabinet that will be accepted by all Zambians. Obviously, when he came to look at the people he had, he had to take a long time to think who are these people who will make a Cabinet which is going to satisfy the Zambians. Obviously, that was a very big task looking at the people that are available to him to choose from,” Lubinda said.

“The third reason why they deserve to be congratulated is that besides his own loyal members who have been with the UPND for 23 years, he also has his new found friends, so-called alliance partners to consider. So those three reasons, those who were appointed must be congratulated, because they are very lucky to have been appointed.”

And Lubinda said the party was happy that half of the Cabinet consisted of former MMD members.

He doubted their ability to deliver anything better than what they delivered between 2001 and 2011.

“The second thing I would like to talk about as vice president of PF, speaking on behalf of the PF, we are very happy to see that almost half of President Bally’s Cabinet is of men and women who were also in the government of the MMD that we defeated in 2011. These are people that we know very well, the Zambian people tested them in government between 2001 and 2011, so there is much to be expected. But I don’t think that they are capable of delivering anything better than what they delivered between 2001 and 2011. As PF we are very happy that in the same way we defeated them in 2011, we shall defeat them again in 2026 because they are basically the same people. So, we are very happy,” he said.

“So, my message is that the others who were not in the MMD government please, be mindful of those who were in the MMD government. They must be asked what is it that made them lose in 2011. The ones who are from MMD please friends, make sure you continue along the same MMD trajectory because we are waiting for you in 2026.”

Meanwhile, Lubinda said the party was shocked that President Hichilema failed to reduce the number of Cabinet Ministers as promised.

“The other issue is that we are just shocked that President Bally posted on his page that he is going to run a lean Cabinet of not more than 18 Ministers. So far, he has already exceeded 18. We the Zambian people are watching, he told us to be ticking after he was declared. Already we have ticked him wrong. We have ticked him wrong and we shall continue to tick. Our only prayer is that the men and women he has appointed to his Cabinet will assist him to fulfill the many brilliant promises on which the Zambian youths voted for him,” said Lubinda.

“He must not go back on his word; he has already gone back on important issues. He has gone back on the issue of gender representation. Can you imagine how many women he has appointed? Can you imagine out of 24 there are only four! He has gone against his own words. Again, on that box, we have ticked wrong. So, on those things, it is zero out of two. What a bad start! For the sake of Zambians, we want him to improve on his record.”