PF youths who are calling on their party leadership to change the presidential candidate for the 2021 general elections have a good argument. The withdrawal of President Edgar Lungu’s participation in the next elections is not only good for the Patriotic Front, but for Zambia and for Mr Lungu himself. This country needs urgent help that will save us all from a looming disaster. It’s no longer about those in power and those wanting to be in power, it’s about Zambia and all Zambians.
While the PF is building and pointing at roads as development, 90 per cent of the rural and urban shanty population has stayed in perpetual poverty. People are killing each other over nshima. And we have a leadership that flies in a US $135 million Gulfstream luxury jet to go and meet these impoverished citizens. Surely, you must feel ashamed to come with such an expensive plane to visit people who can barely feed themselves; barely dress themselves and cannot even afford to educate themselves.
We are in a crisis! This cannot be disputed. Every PF member, minister and Central committee member knows that this is a fact. The solution for Zambia lies in the caliber of the President that we have. What is more worrying is that if President Lungu stands in 2021, he stands a chance (small as it may) of winning again. Is Zambia in a position to endure another five years of President Lungu? We don’t know.
What we know is that there is nothing wrong with Mr Lungu as an individual, but there is everything wrong about his presidency. The problem is that he has made it in life, he has become what he never imagined he would be and he doesn’t care about his governance record since his CV is made. He doesn’t listen to anyone else apart from the minions around him who think with their stomachs.
Look at the damage that the power deficit has caused to the economy, and there is no one around the President who can come up with a tenable solution. What do these leaders talk about when they meet? Are they that blind to the reality of what people out here are going through? How do you raise electricity tariffs by more than 200 per cent in two years and still fail to produce electricity for the people?
We need a change of leadership and the Patriotic Front must play a part by fielding a presidential candidate who will inspire hope because lifting this country out of this mess is serious work. Like we said, this is not about PF or the opposition, it’s about saving Zambia. The current government has brought this economy to its knees.
These small sporadic outbursts or demonstrations that you are seeing from the townships against load-shedding and the water crisis are a huge statement. Any leader who is discerning should see that trouble has started brewing. These incidences (the burning of a fire truck in Kanyama, the residents protest at a Zesco sub-station in Chilenje), may seem small and isolated, but that is people trying to display their dissatisfaction. People are beginning to boil and they are assessing the waters. By the time President Lungu will be waking up to defuse this, there will be a full fledged protest on his hands countrywide.
If President Lungu can’t discern and see that the wind of change has started blowing in the Capital City, then he is truly leaving in a cocoon. Is President Lungu aware that people in the compounds are now having to buy water from bowsers which drive round townships? People in the compounds are waking up at 04:00hrs to walk long distances just to draw a bucket of water. Power comes at 23:00 hours and when it does, residents have to wake up and to go and queue for water before power goes again at 04:00 hours.
Take a drive into Bauleni compound, Mr President, with just your security and leave behind or your stately protocol so that you can experience first hand what people are going through. This is a township that is right next to your residence at State Lodge, a township where the MP is a former Minister of Finance. If it’s that bad in Bauleni, what about in residents of Chipulukusu in Ndola and Kwa Mulenga in Kitwe?
Kwena ba PF, it’s your choice whether to give Zambians this same candidate or to face reality and swallow a bitter pill. It’s time to start being honest. Don’t just say ‘sole candidate sole candidate!’ Ask the President, why do you need another term? What have you done for Zambia to deserve this? We don’t have anything against Dr Lungu, but this transition President has exhausted his usefulness in State House.