FORMER PF secretary general Davies Mwila says the PF government did not have enough money to run the economy, which is why it struggled to release the K1.6 million Constituency Development Fund on time.

And Mwila says people are now remembering former president Edgar Lungu’s words that they will miss him once he leaves power because things are worse.

In an interview, Mwila said UPND would find it difficult to actualise CDF projects because no one had ever progressed in that area.

“We did not have enough money to run the economy and that is more of a reason we used to struggle to release that K1.6 million of CDF. At that time, we used to do everything at the central government. We could do roads everywhere and build schools. What the UPND have done is that the money that was being transacted at the central government, part of the money has gone to the councils in the districts. So certain things will not be done by the central government and that is the interpretation. In short, all those who are living in urban areas and rural areas, most of the roads will not be done because the government will not work on those roads,” Mwila said.

“If you look at Lusaka-Ndola road, where are they going to get the money to work on that road? So all the money has been channeled into the districts and that is all they have done. There is nothing new that they have done. If you look at the price index of the contractors, they have fixed the prices which are lower. Who else will be building houses or get a contract to go and build a school in a rural area? For example, if you fix a price of K410,000 to build a 1×4 classroom block in Shang’ombo, which contractor will accept that? I can tell you with the experience I have that all those who have done jobs through CDF, no one has progressed.”

Mwila said this could be the last time government would be disbursing CDF, owing to the prevailing economic situation.

“Maybe they do not have people who tell them the truth because we do tell them the truth. If things get better, even me, I benefit. If things get worse, even the UPND and PF members will be buying fuel at K27. If they reduce fuel to K10, all of us will benefit. That is the essence of bringing in a good government but when you have a bad government like this one, they are taking us into a ditch. The price of mealie meal is at K180, where is it going to be after the increase of fuel? So all what Gary Nkombo is saying, he is just trying to make himself happy. He wants to make things seem as if they are better. No,” he said.

“Yes, you have released CDF, so are they going to manage to release the entire K25.7 million at the end of the year? Maybe this is even the last one looking at the economic situation of this country. They were banking on the IMF but the deal will collapse. They used to boast that we are the only country that has managed but what have they managed? It is a total failure. They have to go and apologise to the people of Zambia that we lied. Actually, this is getting money by false pretence. They got into government lying to the Zambian people that they will do this and yet they cannot do it. What is the difference with those getting money by false pretence? We are not going anywhere.”

And Mwila said people were now regretting and remembering Lungu’s words because things were worse.

“Yes, they have released the money. They want to excite people but wait for the results. I can tell you, in terms of governance, UPND is the worst government. Even UNIP is better than the UPND because it is a job on training. They have never been in leadership. That is more of a reason we told the people of Zambia to say ‘you cannot vote for a person who has never been a councilor before’. It is a job on training. So being in office for seven months, look at the misery people are now going through. They said the fuel price will come to K10 and we left it at K17 but it is now at almost K27. Tell me how much the price of essential commodities will be. Are the people going to survive?” said Mwila.

“When you change governments, you change governments for the better. People must make comparisons. Is UPND better than PF? The answer is no because it is worse off. You cannot give government to people who are inexperienced and have never worked anywhere. They told us that the price of fuel is high because of the middlemen, so they have to explain. They want to use the excuse of the Russia-Ukraine war. They have failed to govern. Former president Lungu said ‘when you remove me, you will remember me’ and they will remember him. People are crying in the township. Look at the economic benefit of the country. People will suffer and they will regret.”