LEADER of the opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile says political parties must begin to adjust their manifestos into realistic policies so that they do not struggle to implement promises like the UPND government.

And Lupososhi PF member of parliament Emmanuel Musonda says it’s the will of God that UPND will only rule for five years, especially that they have failed to fulfill their electoral promises.

But Namwala UPND member of parliament Herbert Mapani says PF should realise that UPND needs time to fix everything which the former ruling party messed up.

Debating President Hichilema’s address, Thursday, Mundubile said it was very clear that the Presidential speech in Parliament departed from UPND’s campaign promises.

“I will first look at the various categories of Zambians that were meant to be addressed by the speech. The students, youths, unemployed trained teachers and nurses, civil servants, miners, farmers among others. Did the President come out clearly on how he was going to meet the interests of these people? It is very clear that the President departed from his campaign promises. The youths right now as we speak are wondering what is going on. I will stand as leader of the opposition to discharge my function and that is to remind the Executive of the many promises that they made. The miners are wondering what government’s position is on KCM and Mopani Copper mines. Are we giving up ownership or are we continuing to run those mines as Zambians?” Mundubile asked.

“The President should have come out very clearly. The Zambian economy is anchored on the mining sector. If we are going to transform the economy, we cannot proceed without talking about mining. We all know even as you read that statement that nothing was mentioned. The President was very general and he spoke on generalities. He talked about reforming the mining policy but we needed him to come out clearly and give matching orders to his Ministers, that he did not do. On free education, it was very strange because I am also speaking in English. The President spoke in English and I think all of us speak English so we should know that free education is free education. Free education and quality education are two different things. So the President came here to begin to redefine free education, but you cannot come to parliament to come and redefine free education. We know what free education is.”

Mundubile said political parties needed to adjust their manifestos into realistic policies so that they do not struggle to implement them like the UPND government.

“Political parties campaign based on party manifesto and we explain to the electorate what we are going to do for them once voted into power. An opposition political party is a government in waiting. Ideally, an opposition political party begins to position itself and sell a message as to what it is going to do for the people. I believe this is exactly what the UPND in the opposition then, did when they were selling their manifesto. One of the things they did and a message they sold very well was the ‘Bally will fix it’ mantra which I believe sold very well as it made promises to the citizens. Once a party is voted into government the policy of that government is derived from the manifesto. They begin to implement the promises, turn them into policy and begin to implement,” said Mundubile.

“So going forward, we will continue to play our role as the opposition to make sure that even political parties that will come in future do not campaign based on falsehoods. We will make sure that they do not campaign and excite people on what they cannot do. This will be a lesson to many political parties out there. Yes, you can win an election based on falsehoods but it becomes extremely difficult thereafter because you are unable to respond and answer to the many questions that voters would have been asking. So it is a lesson to political parties out there, can you begin to adjust your manifestos to realistic manifestos so that you do not struggle as our friends are doing right now.”

And Musonda said it was God’s will that the UPND government would only rule for five years.

“My coming back to Parliament as the opposition Patriotic Front member of parliament is very symbolic. I first [started] as an opposition member of parliament and 10 years later the PF formed government. I am back as an opposition MP again, meaning that five years later, the Patriotic Front party will bounce back to power. It is not a question. The UNIP government led this country for 27 years, MMD 20 years and that is a descending order. We in PF were in power for 10 years, that again is a descending order. This UPND government will be five years, which is also a descending order. That is the will of God in Zambia and they will not change the will of God especially that they have failed to fulfill their electoral promises. Be ready to pack and leave in 2026, we are coming back,” said Musonda.

But Mapani said UPND needed time to fix PF’s mess.

“Previously before receiving farming inputs despite making payments under FISP, you needed to align yourself to the Patriotic Front government, which was very unfortunate. In supplying these things to the people ethnicity strings were always attached. In an event of the contrary, you would never get the inputs that you required. Further being an affiliate of the Patriotic Front, one needed to be a praise singer for the party in government. I want to thank the President for indicating that we are going to provide deep tanks for the farmers as this will allow for the production of enough beef. With the new programme as enshrined in the Presidential speech, it is our hope that he is going to do the correct thing to improve the lives of the people across the country,” said Mapani.

“It is my hope that the PF government should never at any time actually indicate that the sharing of the national cake was even. We heard the former Ministers and MP’s boasting that in their constituencies in the space of five years they have managed to build five secondary and primary schools whilst in Namwala pupils are still getting their education under trees, which is unfortunate. It is my appeal that from today the former regime should realize that the new UPND government ought to be given time for them to reorganize and work on their failures because this country got to where it is now because of their failures. It is my prayer that from today they will desist from pretending that the national cake was shared evenly because the contrary is what obtained.”