MR Charles Kakoma, the former UPND spokesman who defected to PF, says the high cost of living is only in Lusaka, as the people of North Western Province are not affected. According to Mr Kakoma who is now a PF candidate for Zambezi West, people in his constituency are not bothered about food because they have everything they need.

Charles KAKOMA: “Since campaigns started, only two people have asked about the high cost of living. Basically, maybe because it is a rural situation, rural constituencies. So, they are basically not in the money economy. The high cost of living is for you people in Lusaka. People here are concerned about other issues like schools, availability of schools. They want more schools to be built nearby. Those are the things that they are concerned about, which we are addressing. For a villager in Zambezi West Constituency, all they do is go to the water bodies and get his fish and he has relish. If they want breakfast, they go to their storage room and get some rice for breakfast. If they want nshima for lunch they go and get their cassava or maize and they grind and they have their meal. Life is very simple here. When it comes to other things like transport and so on, we use our God-given legs for transport.”

This comment by Mr Charles Kakoma is one of the most insensitive and shocking remarks to have come out of our politicians recently. This is even worse than the “eat kandolo” comment that was made by the PF national chairman, Mr Samuel Mukupa.

One could easily be forgiven for accusing Mr Charles Kakoma of being humble, but this comment is so disappointing coming from a person like him. We know him to be a very soft spoken politician whom we expected to be decent. Even his defection was a very disappointing development to many. It obviously raised a lot of questions about why such a highly placed opposition official could defect at a critical time like that.

Thinking about Mr Kakoma now and listening to him, we kind of get the sense of what happened. It reminds us of former president Rupiah Banda’s famous quote about a disgruntled politician, where he says “Yamunyokola njala mambala”. President Banda had diagnosed a particular politician’s problems and reduced it to one of hunger, which is something that may well define Mr Kakoma

We do not know why Mr Kakoma left the UPND. Could it be that he could no longer cope with the high cost of living- with hunger? After all, our politics are not the easiest. We know that those who occupy opposition benches are sometimes reduced to abject poverty. We have reason to suspect that Mr Kakoma was a victim of a biting economy.

With what is prevailing in Zambia, no politicians can convince us that they decided to join the ruling party a few weeks before the elections for the benefit of the nation, it’s all about self-preservation. We have good reason to suspect that Mr Kakoma must have had a very tough life and this led to his defection. But having left the poverty striken corridors of opposition politics, should not make him forget very quickly how difficult things are in Zambia at the moment for the ordinary Zambian.

Mr Kakoma’s comments are words of a troubled man. He knows the truth, but he must speak his master’s voice. Why? In his comments, he makes two shocking points that are insulting to the suffering of our people. Firstly he says that our people in Zambezi West don’t need money- high cost of living does not affect them. Really!He says this when he knows that even basic commodities like salt have increased in price. Are the people of North Western Province manufacturing their own salt? Or is he suggesting that they eat the fish from the river without salt? We all know that our people in Zambezi like anywhere else need some basic commodities in the house. But Mr Kakoma says they are not entitled.

Although he is politicking he also realizes that no one can live without money. He knows that people need transport, but to run away from this reality, he says God has given them legs. A leader is saying when people need transport they should use their God given legs. He is now telling us that if our people in the rural areas want to come to the city, they should use their God given legs. What kind of reasoning is this? There are civil servants in Zambezi, is Mr Kakoma saying they too are not affected by the high cost of living?

This reminds us of the saying that those whom the gods want to destroy, first they drive mad.

There is no other way of describing such comments. It shows that leaders have run out of arguments with which to convince the people to vote for them. This is why they are just opening their mouths without thinking.

If Mr Mukupa scooped the price for insensitive and self-defeating remarks with his “eat kandolo” comment, Mr Kakoma is the runner up. He is doing very well in that department. Mr. Kakoma is behaving like someone who has had such a good time, and maybe he has taken one too many; and now he feels free to say whatever comes to his mouth!.

When you hear some of these comments, you are tempted to wonder whether the person who said them was sober or under the influence. We would like to challenge Mr Kakoma to tell us that he left the opposition because he was doing very financially. If he left the opposition to try to better himself what about the people are they not entitled to the comfort he is looking for?

Kakoma needs to realize that the problems that the people are facing cannot be sugarcoated. As we have warned before, the PF are in a self-destruction mode. This why they are insulting voters before an election.

It is said that do not insult the crocodile if your bums are still in the water!