BWEENGWA UPND member of parliament Kasauta Michelo says the PF created a conducive environment which “legalised corruption”.

In his maiden speech in Parliament, Wednesday, Michelo corruption killed more people than COVID-19 under the PF administration.

“We saw people under the previous regime supplying expired drugs but we promise the people of Zambia that we in the new dawn regime under the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema we will never provide expired drugs to the people of Zambia and we will never provide leaking condoms to the people of Zambia. Right now because of corruption, remember what also happened to Honeybee, it is the reason why we the Zambian people keep on consuming expired drugs ordered by the PF regime and we have lost so many lives because of the same corruption. I think we have lost so many people through corruption under PF more than what we have lost from COVID-19 deaths,” he said.

“Corruption under the PF was ever green, it was ever green for the last 10 years and our economy was badly hurt because of corruption. Zambia today is poor because it was poorly governed by the PF regime. PF created a conducive environment which legalized corruption. Where they say ubomba mwibala, alya mwibala, this is what they meant. Those engaged in corruption must be punished in accordance with the law. Corruption under PF killed more people than COVID-19 deaths, this is what happened in this country.”

Michelo “congratulated” former president Edgar Lungu for fulfilling his words that he had no vision for the country.

“Madam Speaker, for I have already congratulated His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema and his team, allow me to congratulate Edgar Chagwa Lungu for fulfilling his words of him saying he had no vision for our great country Zambia. The man has really proved to the Zambian people and the world at large that really he had no vision, he destroyed our country economically. The man was a serious dictator,” he said.

“Under his leadership, PF was more brutal than the colonial masters. PF promised us more money in our pockets, cheaper fuel from Saudi Arabia, one million jobs. But what did we see? Tear gases, expensive fuel, purchase of police armoured vehicles for brutalising innocent citizens and UPND sympathisers.”

But Mfuwe PF member of parliament Maureen Mabonga said reality had dawned upon the Zambian youths after realising that UPND’s campaign promises wouldn’t be realised.

“I feel sad that many Zambians, especially the youths voted based on the promises that now the UPND is running away from. Mfuwe youths are waiting for 25,000 jobs they were promised, they are waiting for free education among many other promises that were made. By now Madam Speaker, the Zambian youths now reality has dawned on them and they have realised that they were duped by the UPND because they ascended to power on fake promises that we know in this House may not be achieved,” she said.

“The speech I can best describe it as a speech that lacks inspiration, the speech was not smart according to me. It was not smart in that this speech I believe sets in motion the government’s policy for the next five years. The speech had many good words but did not give a clear time frame of realization thereby making the majority of young people including myself wonder if the promises made by the President of Zambia will be achieved within the first term,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kafue member of parliament Mirriam Chinyama said President Hichilema’s speech at the UN General Assembly on gender equity gave hope to the women.

“I took an interest in the gender comments in the three speeches that I have alluded to. At the inauguration ceremony, it was almost silent. When we were at the official opening, a comment on gender issues was magnified. At the UN General Assembly, the President spoke nicely and made good commitment around gender equality which gives us the women a lot of hope that indeed he is set to change the narrative of women representation in this country,” said Chinyama.

“We are talking about less than 13 percent of women represented. In fact, less than 15 percent collectively whether at Parliament, at Cabinet, at councillor level. But these are women who are supposed to help in making the decisions because they understand the challenges that we all face. So men, especially men of this house, let us support the women. These are our mothers, these are our sisters, these are our daughters and if we don’t support reforms that are meant to enhance the status of women, then we are only helping to do injustice to our daughter, our grand daughters.”