UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says former president Edgar Lungu glorified cadreism and never did anything to end it.
Commenting on Lunte PF member of parliament Mutotwe Kafwaya’s remarks that Lungu was a democrat who never liked cadreism, Mucheleka said the parliamentarian was lying.
“He is lying! Kafwaya is playing cheap politics. This is a person who is in complete denial, he can’t come to terms with the fact that PF is no more. With time, people will know what PF cadreism did. We had a lot of our people that died, some innocent Zambians who were not involved in politics caught up in the crossfire, being killed because of cadreism. If there is something that the Zambian people detested, it was the PF cadreism. Everyone complained but the former president did nothing about it. Remember in one of his rallies he was boasting of how he so much respected cadreism, how he was undermining his own systems, glorifying cadres who were beating and maiming people. Causing mayhem everywhere and there is nothing that they did,” Mucheleka said.
“So Kafwaya must not tell lies to the Zambian people about how president Lungu detested and instructed them to end cadreism. He is just trying to play to the gallery. Lungu never did anything to stop it and if anything, that is something he thought was going to benefit him to beat people into submission. There was no political will to stop it. And that is why in the UPND [we] are doing things differently by respecting the people’s rights to belong to any party of their choice.”
Mucheleka also accused the PF of having recruited party cadres into the police service.
“They went to an extent of infiltrating the police service. Not everyone who wears a police uniform is a genuine officer. From the time that Wynter (Kabimba) was secretary general, they started recruiting PF cadres and making them police officers. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. These are the people that were deliberately allowing cadreism to manifest in the police service, in other security wings. Because of cadreism which the PF used to intimidate everyone, to beat people into submission, they took over markets, bus stations and some institutions of the State. We even had a situation where they could enter offices and threaten to beat up our civil servants. That is why people rose against the PF,” he said.
On Kafwaya’s remarks that it was not the right time to judge PF and that Zambians should wait for UPND to rule for five years in order to make meaningful comparisons between the two parties, Mucheleka argued that people could already see changes taking place.
“People are able to see. Do you have to wait for five years? Within a day, when President HH was sworn in, just the tone of his speech said it all. And even his address to the nation through his official opening of Parliament, he made it very clear. You can tell the direction he wants to take the country in the next five years. We have seen that he has demonstrated zero tolerance to corruption and he also made it very clear to the ministers that have been appointed. The institutions of the state charged with the responsibility of ensuring that we adhere to the rule of law and promotion of good governance, he has already set the tone. People are free, they can breathe again. You can even feel the fresh air in the environment. No one will harass you at the bus stop, no one will insult our police officers,” said Mucheleka.
“Do you have to wait for five years when you can see the changes that are already taking place? You can see the stability coming back into the market, the donor confidence. As UPND, we are going to do everything possible to ensure that the country moves into a trajectory that creates opportunities for everyone, youths, students, farmers, and women. And he has been able to realign the ministries to indicate which direction the country will take. What is required is to give support to the UPND as well as our President. It is about being able to deliver to our people and ensuring that the economy begins to grow and work for everyone.”