PF Media Director Antonio Mwanza says President Hichilema doesn’t seem to like anyone below the age of 35 judging by his appointments.
And Mwanza has wondered how the UPND administration will employ over 11,000 health workers when they have failed to employ 800 doctors.
Meanwhile, Mwanza says some Cabinet ministers are refusing to move into government houses because they are emulating President Hakainde Hichilema.
Speaking when he featured on 5FM’s Burning Issues programme, Thursday, Mwanza said while it was the youths who put President Hichilema in office, he preferred to exhume retirees and give them jobs.
“Looking at the people that he has been appointing, whether in boards or those that he has appointed as district commissioners, it seems anyone who is below 35 years is not the President’s favourite. Ma (the) youths are not the president’s favourite, they put him in power, they ushered him in power, the Bally movement put president Hakainde Sammy in power, today he is not appointing any of those youths. He has gone back to appoint retirees, people that stopped work a long time ago, our elders who worked and retired, those are the people that the president has gone to and he is exhuming them one by one appointing them as district commissioners, appointing them as commissioners of commissions,” Mwanza said.
And Mwanza doubted the UPND ability to employ health workers.
“They said that when we come into office, we will make sure that we employ all the doctors. Today, we have our trained doctors fighting everyday, protesting to get employed. And I want to say this thing, these people have said they will employ 11,300 health personnel, today they are failing to employ 800 of the 11,000, how are they are going to employ 11,000 when they are failing to employ 800? And for the doctors I feel pity for them because for them to get employed anywhere, the doctors must first do internship for 1 year 6 months only at government hospitals and at mine hospitals, without that, they cannot be employed anywhere,” Mwanza said.
Mwanza observed that the closure of the procurement department at the Ministry of Health had contributed to the shortage of drugs in hospitals.
“We want to make it very categorical that as Patriotic Front, we want the President to succeed because when the President succeeds, Zambia succeeds. Ine ninkhala mu komboni bantu bavutika (I stay in the compounds people are suffering). As we are speaking now, there is a crisis mu vipatala mulibe mankwala (There are no drugs in hospitals). Go to Mazabuka, go to Kalingalinga, go to Kabwe, go to Kalulushi mulibe mankwala muchipatala (there are no drugs in hospitals). Why we don’t have medicines in hospitals is because this government has closed the procurement department at Ministry of Health for six months,” he said.
“Now the procurement department at Ministry of Health has been closed, they can’t buy medicines that is the reason why we don’t have medicines in hospitals. And we want to make a passionate appeal to His Excellency the President, President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema tapapata vulani (we are pleading open) procurement department ku (at) Ministry of Health. Let the Ministry of Health purchase medicines, put up measures to deal with pilferage.”
Meanwhile, Mwanza said some ministers were emulating President Hichilema by refusing to move into government houses.
“Honourable Chitotela raised a very critical issue and Zambians must listen to this – opposition our job is to raise concern with things of public interest. Honourable Chitotela in parliament two days ago raised an issue of cabinet ministers who are not occupying government houses, maybe His Excellency the President must lead by example by occupying a government house which is State House. If he does not want to occupy State House, well and good but there is a cost of always transporting the President, moving him from where he stays to State House every day. Today we have cabinet ministers who are refusing to go and live in the government houses; they are taking a cue from the President,” said Mwanza.
Mwanza also said the fight for the party’s presidency was a sign that the party was alive.