PF vice-president Given Lubinda says the party has written to US Embassy in Zambia’s interim Charge d’Affaires David Young to express their displeasure over his President, Joe Biden’s, remarks in which he saluted the Zambian youths for denouncing and voting out corruption.
And Lubinda says the PF may need to ask for forgiveness from Zambians for some of the things they did or did not do whilst in power which resulted in them being voted out.
Speaking when he featured on the Friday edition of Radio Phoenix’s “Let the People Talk” programme, Lubinda said the US President had no right to refer to PF as corrupt unless he sent his team to investigate activities in Zambia.
He added that it was a mockery for Americans to call themselves a 200-year democracy when they can’t accept election results.
“Joe Biden is president of a sovereign state but he is not president of the globe. Joe Biden unless he tells us that he sent his team to come and investigate activities in Zambia, he has no right whatsoever to make such a comment. We condemn that statement as strongly as we can. We actually wrote to the Chargé d’affaires of America in Zambia to condemn that statement. Biden should realize his democracy is not the best democracy in the world. As a matter of fact, Biden must be able to say thank you to Zambia for teaching them democracy, we are the ones who are teaching Americans democracy,” Lubinda said.
“Biden did not receive the instruments of power from his predecessor. His predecessor shunned the inauguration. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, what did he do, he went and handed over the instruments of authority. Tell me who the democrats are, Americans? Far from it. If Americans can’t accept the result of elections and they call themselves a 200-year democracy, that is a mockery. Then for him to point at us and say we are corrupt that’s totally uncalled for.”
Lubinda asked President Biden to concentrate on America and not become a “police force of the world”.
“Look at what he is doing in Haiti and he calls himself clean with what he is doing to the citizens of Haiti. His own ambassador has resigned because of the atrocities he is committing on the people of Haiti. Joe Biden must be asked to concentrate on America and not to become a police force of the world. When did he send people to come and investigate that the PF government was corrupt? For us, we are reading in the press how he is killing people in Haiti, he must apologize to mankind for that. He should actually be saying thank you to Zambia,” he said.
And Lubinda said the PF may need to ask for forgiveness from Zambians for some of the things they did or did not do whilst in power which resulted in them being voted out.
“Pretty soon, I think within the week madam Jean Kapata and the team must be ready to produce the report which will then be tabled before the central committee. Speaking to members in the central committee, that report shall be made public so that members of the public who are the owners of the party are also made aware of what our findings are, what is it that has led us to where we are today,” he said.
“I for one see that there may actually be need for apologies to be made. Apologies amongst ourselves and maybe apologies rendered to society. Because those of us who were fortunate to be in the leadership of the party are not owners of the party. The true owners of the party are those people who are not even making decisions and we brought them where we brought them because of some things we did and did not do. So I can see that going forward, I may even need to ask popular radios such as yours to come and use your platform to reach out to the people and explain what went wrong and to seek forgiveness because I don’t think they wanted us to bring them where we are.”
Lubinda noted that PF may have lost the polls because it did not sell itself and its message as efficiently as the UPND.
“The truth of the matter is that people voted based on promises that were made. And one thing for sure is that in any election, the one who is heard most and the one who sells his message better is the one who wins elections. So the first thing we need to say is yes the Patriotic Front did not sell itself and message as efficiently as the others and maybe we did not rebut their stories effectively. So they reached out to the people and convinced the people. Who in the country would not vote for a government which says ‘as soon as you vote for us, we shall reduce the value of the dollar to K10 when it was at K20’? Because everybody wants their Kwacha to be strengthened. And probably we did not go out to say ‘listen this is not true it won’t happen’, maybe we didn’t say it loud enough. Elections were based on messaging,” he said.
“We may have had a disconnect, we may have concentrated on delivering our promises and yet the Zambian people had probably gone ahead of us. Our people are now talking about things that we thought are not attainable, things that we still believe are not attainable. Probably the Zambian society ran faster than us, they ran faster than us and started asking for free education for instance which we thought was not attainable. They started asking for three square meals a day without them putting anything to it when we thought ‘let us uplift the standard living of the vulnerable people by introducing the social cash transfer’. We told the vulnerable we will give you SCT to uplift your standard of living but probably society would say ‘no no no give us three square meals’, and others picked that and used it and said ‘we will give you three square meals free’. Obviously when you tell people that, you win their hearts.”
Meanwhile, Lubinda urged party members to allow the process of healing to take effect and avoid jostling for party positions.
“I would like to appeal to all members of the party to allow the process of healing to take effect. All of us are hurting, hurting because we lost power. If we can spend some time to allow our hearts to settle down, to also accept that each one of us had a role to play in this, and that we sober up. We must sober up to the reality that we are in the opposition now, we don’t have the luxury of being the ruling party, we are the opposition. Because we are the opposition, we are not going to be as attractive as we were and as such we ought to conduct in a manner that builds confidence in the people,” said Lubinda.
“We will not build confidence in our people if we start jostling for positions just yet. The rebranding process is a genuine process but will only be as successful as the members allow it to take place because rebranding is not necessarily changing personalities, it is about attitude change and all of us have to change our attitude. This is not time for us members of the party to also add salt to the injury by jostling for positions and trading vulgar language at each other’s throats. I appeal to all my colleagues in the party please please, if you go out now campaigning, all you are doing is splitting members of the party then because we are going to have factions.”