FORMER works and supply minister Sylvia Chalikosa says Zambians prematurely voted out the PF government and she can already see signs of people regretting doing so.
In an interview, Friday, Chalikosa said it was not everyone who was bad in PF despite the party having a few bad eggs.
She added Zambians were unfair to the PF considering the works they did.
“Considering what we did in terms of physical development, I think the people were unfair to the Patriotic Front. In terms of complaints from the people regarding unemployment and people failing to make ends meet, that should have been what we are working on now but they didn’t give us a chance. They prematurely voted us out and I think they will regret their decisions and we are already seeing signs of that. It’s not everyone who was bad in the Patriotic Front. I mean, you always have a bad egg here and there but that doesn’t mean the entire administration was incapable, that’s not true,” Chalikosa said.
“It’s not easy for a government to change policies that take effect immediately. By the time the people will have the feel of the change in policy, it will be five years. So we doubt whether this change of policy will even be felt. For instance, when we were doing the infrastructure development we knew that the time for the benefit will be 10, 15, even 20 years and yet we had only been in office for 10 years. The effect of what the Patriotic Front did is yet to come, so in the five years there are likely to be more mistakes I can assure you. And this will just be helping the people to make a better judgement in future.”
Chalikosa said she believed people still loved the PF and the party just needed to cleanse and restructure itself.
“We need to make decisions with a sober mind. I know there is a saying that ‘a hungry man is an angry man’. So people may make decisions based on what they are feeling at that time, hoping that things are going to get better. But personally I feel that when somebody is making a mistake, point the mistake out and give them a chance. It was just way too widely for people to turn against PF. But I believe people still love PF and what we need is just to cleanse ourselves, reorganize and restructure and I know people still want us back especially that UPND is fumbling. I don’t know when they will get it right because to me the leadership in terms of the President, he is not listening to any advice, he is just doing what he wants, speaking off cuff,” she said.
And Chalikosa said the UPND administration was so far messing itself up, and that it’s just a matter of time before the PF gets back into power.
“Clearly everyone is there to judge for themselves. Of course we were biased, we had interests of continuing with the government but our warning or what we said was going to happen has already started manifesting itself in the way the UPND government is carrying on. We told the people that PF had proof that it was tested. However, people did not want to continue with the Patriotic Front for whatever reason. And we are yet to see what the UPND will be able to do, if they are going to improve upon what PF left and not just concentrate on the blame game, finger-pointing, witch hunting, thinking that that is what the people are interested in. They have removed the Patriotic Front so they are no longer interested in what the Patriotic Front did, they want to know what the UPND is going to do. They made promises like ‘ministers will be driving Toyota Corolla’s instead of Land Cruisers because they are expensive’, we are waiting when that will happen. They talked about giving free education and yet the language has now changed to quality education,” said Chalikosa.
“It’s not easy to be in government. When you are outside, it is very easy to criticize but we the PF since we have been both outside and inside and now we are outside again, we know what the people are expecting. Right now they want economic independence, they want food on the table. And for PF that is exactly what we were going to be working on had we gone back into power. We had started with infrastructure development and our next thing would have been economic activities that are supported by infrastructure development. So we are all watching and waiting and we are just ready to get back into the office. It’s just a matter of time. For us, this is a temporary setback and it will also give a good comparison of the two governments the UPND and the PF. So far they are messing themselves up big time.”