FORMER transport and communications minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says President Hakainde Hichilema is being let down by his Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu on the issue of cadres returning to markets.

In an interview, Kafwaya argued that things were merely going back to the way they were in the past.

“Honourable Jack Mwiimbu said ‘as they will be politicking in those markets, they should not collect any revenue, they should also not undertake any activities with law and order’. We are simply going back to what it was. I was criticized when I said President Lungu did not want cadres. It is us who let him down. The current President, His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema has also said he doesn’t want cadres. But unfortunately, he is being let down in broad daylight by honorable Jack Mwiimbu. Because honourable Mwiimbu cannot be saying they will maintain law and order, he knows how cadres are. The same way we let down President Edgar Lungu, this is the same way the current President is being let down by honorable Mwiimbu. And I feel bad if you ask me because it is going back to the way it was,” Kafwaya said.

“Maybe they should be asked whether that is consistent or inconsistent. Why should you go and form branches in a market or at a bus stop? If you say, ‘we are going to form branches’ branches of who? Cadres? Do we know the behavior of cadres? Are honorable Jack Mwiimbu’s policemen going to be there at all times to ensure that those cadres will maintain law and order? All professions have a way in which they think. If you come to parliament, MPs have a way in which they think because we go through standing orders and procedures. The cadres have a way they think. Are all other political parties going to be allowed to form branches in those markets and bus stops? If that is not the case, then you are saying only one political party can form branches and that is negating what the President has said which is that ‘all political parties should be able to undertake their activities with necessary freedom.”

Kafwaya said he would only take UPND seriously after a year.

“I am not excited about all these pronouncements because they have come less than a month into their victory. While us in PF are mourning the loss, those in UPND are celebrating their victory. And those pronouncements made either in celebratory or mourning mood should be observed for some time. I will take UPND seriously after one year. Already you can see that a few things that have been said in this celebratory mood are already being negated by their actions. President Hakainde and his UPND should be accountable for their campaign promises. But it is just a month since they were elected. Let us wait for a year,” said Kafwaya.

On Tuesday, Kantanshi PF member of parliament Anthony Mumba asked Mwiimbu on how the cadres would form branches in markets following the statement by UPND Lusaka provincial chairperson Obvious Mwaliteta that UPND cadres would set up branches everywhere including markets.

In response, Mwiimbu said they would do it in an orderly manner as indicated by Mwaliteta.

“The provincial chairman said they will be orderly, they will not cause any confusion in the markets. The provincial minister was very categorical. He has indicated that they are going to strictly adhere to the instructions that was given by the President of the Republic of Zambia that they will never collect any money, they will never run the bus stations and they will never run the markets and they will be orderly, as they politic in the markets. I would like to congratulate the markets for not wanting to ensure that there is anarchy in the market. Madam Speaker, he is a very good chairman for ensuring that there will be order in the markets,” Mwiimbu responded.