FORMER Second deputy Speaker and PF member Mwimba Malama says the future of PF depends on the installation of leaders with a good reputation, arguing that maintaining some of the current ones won’t take the party anywhere.

And Malama says he has noticed that ZNBC has not been serious about covering the opposition despite the President’s assurance that the media will operate freely under his government.

In an interview, Malama said some names in PF were destroyed and could not lead the party.

“The future of PF depends on how we are going to organise this party as PF. PF should not allow those people who are dirty in mind to be in the leadership of PF, it will not go anywhere. Because you can’t even parade some of them in public to speak to the people, their names are destroyed,” Mwamba said.

“So the future of PF depends on how we are going to organize ourselves and the grassroots too because they are the owners of the party. We need to be careful because if we don’t handle this situation in PF, we will not go anywhere. This time, [people] cannot be controlled like they were controlled in the olden days, people this time know what they are doing.”

He said the PF loss was a warning that anyone in leadership should never torment the people.

“If we don’t pick the right leadership to propel the engine of this political party, we will have a lot of difficulties to move. This is my appeal to every PF member that we should not be selfish so that we do what is right in order for us to bounce back. If we begin to say ‘until I become the president of this party’ even when you know your name is not good to people, we will not take this party anywhere. If members of a political party stop listening and start ignoring the result is what we have experienced in PF. I hope this is a warning that when you are in office, you need to humble yourself. I am happy that I never tormented the Zambian people,” Malama said.

And Malama said he had noticed that ZNBC had not been serious about covering the opposition so far.

“They (UPND) condemned ZNBC like hell for not showing their programmes. I thought they would understand. I am happy that the President himself said ZNBC should also cover the opposition. We are going to see, so far, I have not seen anything serious in terms of covering the opposition. They need to understand how ZNBC, Times of Zambia, Daily Mail, the police and civil servants operate, they work with the government of the day mainly. The President has said ‘cover the opposition’ but they, ZNBC, fear their own shadow. Even if they know they are supposed to cover every Zambian, they will not take whatever the opposition is saying for the fear of being fired. They do that because they want to keep their jobs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malama said the newly appointed Cabinet was okay, assuring the UPND that PF would support them, unlike how they were while in the opposition.

“When I look at the Cabinet, the good thing is that they are all Zambians. Although I don’t know some, those I have known deserve it. For example, Gary Nkombo, Jack Mwiimbu, Cornelius Mweetwa, I also have respect for Sylvia Masebo, she is a good quality. The Cabinet is okay. We will support them, we will not behave like they behaved. They never supported PF programmes. Some of the ministers are too new in those offices, they need proper guidance. Just like some members of parliament, they should not be excited; they need to understand the rules of the House. They should not go there with excitement, they will make mistakes and they will be embarrassed,” he said.

Malama also advised the UPND not to concentrate on tormenting PF members but to be serious with governance.

“The truth of the matter is that we lost and we have not petitioned, that was a sheer waste of time, UPND won. Now that they won, they are the ones governing this country. We can only advise them where we think they are going astray and that is the main function of those in opposition. If they want to concentrate on tormenting or teasing PF, they will be shocked and disappointed because PF has got somewhere it can point to that ‘we did this’. It is them who have got the mountain to climb in terms of bringing development in the country,” Malama said.

“They need to employ a lot of youths as per promise, they need to employ a lot of teachers, nurses as per promise and bring Kwacha to a single digit. They also need to bring sanity to the country. They need serious people in government for them to achieve those promises otherwise five years is like five days, they will be shocked. This is why they need to be serious with what they are doing.”

Malama added that he was observing to see how the UPND government would manage the police.

“Those in opposition may think that police officers are not good, but they are good people. They work with the government of the day. This time, they have moved to President Hakainde Hichilema because he is the Republican President, they have to protect him. But those in opposition issued statements against police officers as if they are not professional. Let them continue shouting at police officers today now that they are in government, they will never because police officers are with them. Anyone who is in the police service is supposed to serve the government of the day and maintain order in our community. We are yet to see how the police officers are going to be managed. People should just not condemn. We were in opposition as PF, we said police officers were not good, when we were in government, we appreciated them. They will start appreciating police officers,” said Malama.