PF media director Antonio Mwanza says life has become harder today than six months ago.

And Mwanza says PF’s refusal to participate in Women’s Day celebrations is because the UPND government has neglected women.

Meanwhile, Mwanza says one of UPND’s policies is to blame the PF for everything.

Speaking when he featured on Millennium Radio, Wednesday, Mwanza rated UPND’s first six months in office as a disaster.

“Well you see, it’s a disaster. When people rose up early in the morning to go and queue up, the majority of those people that queued up voted against the Patriotic Front. They voted in a very clear way that they were going to vote for a political party that will make their lives better. The question we need to ask ourselves today is that six months down the line, is the life of an ordinary Zambian better than it used to be six months ago? The answer is an absolute no,” he said.

“Six months ago, unga tinali kugula K160, a 50kg bag of mealie meal. Today in certain places, mealie meal is as high as K180. Six months ago, fertiliser, the highest you could get was K680. Today fertiliser is reaching as high as K1,050 and K920 the cheapest. Six months ago, mutengo wa bus kuchoka mwa Kalingalinga kuyenda fika mu town (a bus fare from Kalingalinga into town) has almost doubled from K10 it is now going towards K20. Today the price of every service and commodity has either doubled, tripled or it has gone up by 20 percent or so. So, is life better today than it was six months ago? The answer is that life has become harder today than six months ago.”

And Mwanza said the UPND government had neglected women.

“We will continue to appreciate national events and holidays such as Women’s Day and Youth Day. We appreciate the value that our women have continued to add to the nation as far as social, political and economic diversification is concerned. Our refusal to participate in the national programs as far as Women’s Day and Youth Day is concerned is very categorical. The reasons are simple; one, this government has neglected women. Do you know that we only have five women in a Cabinet of 28 cabinet ministers? We are going back to the 70s when we had one woman in the Cabinet. This is where this government is taking us,” he said.

“This government is not creating opportunities for our women; business opportunities, employment opportunities are not there. Equally, the same with the youths. The youths voted in draws, in numbers for this administration. What has happened to the youth today? what is the role of a youth in the UPND administration? zero. Ma DC, bonse ma DC banachita appoint ba President ni nkote zeka zeka, nkote (all the DCs that the President has appointed are of old).”

Meanwhile, Mwanza said one of UPND’s policies was to blame PF for everything.

“Now what is happening is that their only policies, and these are two; first of all, blame PF for everything, just blame PF. Mitengo zikadula [when prices go up], just blame PF. Remember when the President came in he was telling us that there was no money and he found the coffers empty? Bwana you found the coffers empty and you are flying every week using the same coffers. How are the coffers empty if the President is flying every week? How are the coffers empty when his Ministers have refused to occupy government houses and batyolele K11,300 housing allowance every month and that does not include the K109,000 they are getting as take home per month. Imagine how much we are spending on every new dawn Minister per month, we are spending close to K200,000,” he said.

Mwanza also said UPND had no economic recovery plan.

“A good paramedic does not stop the bleeding first, a good paramedic first has to dictate what is the cause of the bleeding and this government has not dictated what the source of the problems are. The source of the problems we are going through today is the government’s failure to come up with an economic plan. That’s the reason. This government has no economic plan, ba UPND has no economic plan, balibe, zero. The Minister of Finance Honorable Situmbeko Musokotwane was asked to say ‘bwana you have no economic plan, how are you going to make Zambia a better place?’ His response and I have it, it was written in News Diggers, he said it’s not like we have a plan written on a piece of paper, no but we know what we want to do. It’s to reduce, restructure the debt. A Minister is telling you that they don’t have any plan. That’s a disaster,” he said.

‘If I was President Hakainde Sammy Hichilema, immediately I would have fired that Minister because you can’t tell me the Minister says we don’t have a plan written anywhere but we know what we want to do. This government has said they have no written economic plan, that their plan is existing in their heads, that they move around kwati ni church yami zimu [as if its a church of spirits]. Zambians must be worried that they have put in a government that has no economic plan. Which bleeding is the President talking about because first of all, we left a very healthy economy.”

Meanwhile, Mwanza said the relationship between the PF leadership and its members of parliament was very healthy.

“The Patriotic Front has a parliamentary liaison committee which the party leadership is using to breach the gap between parliamentarians and the party. I think we need to give a lot of credit to members of parliament for the Patriotic Front for the wonderful job they are doing in Parliament, they are providing credible and critical checks and balances. Kudos must go to our members of parliament. Our MPs have remained committed, they are making not only contributions in terms of policy direction, but they are also contributing their resources to the daily administration of the party. That’s how committed they are. The relationship between the PF leadership and its MPs is very healthy, progressive and intact,” said Mwanza.