FDD president Edith Nawakwi has told Zambians not to blame God for the many problems they are facing because it is not God who voted for the PF but themselves.
And Nawakwi has asked the Patriotic Front government to pay back the money it got from farmers on false pretence through e-voucher system.
In interview, Nawakwi asked people of Eastern Province not to cry because last year during campaigns, she asked them to vote for her, a farmer, but they refused.
She said the people’s careless voting had pushed them into the current problems.
“I told easterners to vote for me as a farmer but they denied me and chose those who got their K400. So let’s not complain that God has left us, mulungu savota ndise tilinavuto yosankha cisankhe sankhe and imwe ma reporters please tell the government that monies which they got by false pretence from the farmers should be paid back to the owners…if it was me, I would be in jail by now but please who can arrest for us these thieves in PF government who have stolen our monies as poor people?” Nawakwi asked.
She said it did not give hope to any well meaning Zambian to see that theft was now being practiced by government on poor people, especially farmers.
“Government is like your relative whom you can give money with no doubt that he will steal but what we see is that the government that people trusted has become a thief by stealing K400 from the poor farmers saying it will give them fertiliser. Government is obtaining money by false pretence and that is theft by government from the poor people,”
She said what the government had done was like entering a poor person’s house and going away with all his beddings.
Nawakwi said the government went to chiefs and headmen asking them to sensitise their people to give government K400 for fertiliser but that up to now, instead of getting eight bags, farmers had only been given six bags or nothing at all.
She said people thought corruption only happened in Lusaka “but now the government has finished money in towns and is now following it in villages”.
“Munamvela cabe ati ku Lusaka kuli corruption muona monga nicani? Nikubela ndalama anthu amphawi (you just heard that in Lusaka there is corruption, you think it’s about what? It’s stealing from poor people). And everyone is now aware and can see and can feel it that truly what we used to hear is now visible in our communities and families,”
She said the PF government had, through the e-voucher system, introduced theft.
“What government has done this year is inexcusable as they went into the villages, got poor people’s money saying we will bring you fertiliser and on top of the K400 you will pay, we will top up for you K1,600 yet all was theft. They introduced e-voucher, an electronic system, yet it is an electronic system they introduced of stealing funds from poor people,” Nawakwi charged.
She challenged agriculture minister Dora Siliya to show that she could perform.
Nawakwi said the current status of agriculture in the country was bad as the minister always ran away from responsibility when problems affecting farmers arose.
She said an agriculture minister should think of agriculture “when sleeping, in the toilet and at lunch” but said Siliya was not concerned because she did not have a field to know what was involved in agriculture.
“I believe agriculture is something that everyone should respect. We cannot have a Minister of Agriculture who says ‘me I was on holiday when this happened’. Is that an agriculture minister…?” Nawakwi asked.
She assured the people of Eastern Province that problems were not only in Eastern Province as the entire Zambia was crying.
“It’s not in Eastern Province that people are crying but the entire Zambia is crying kuti mulungu watisiya bwanji, tacita cani chifukwa mvula nayeve kulibe! Boma nayo yatibela ndalama chifukwa (that why has God forsaken us? What have we done because there is even no rain, the government has also stolen our money, because) two hundred million dollars is a lot of money, where did it go? Who pocketed these monies? Let the President explain to us who stole these monies,”
said Nawakwi who, however, advised farmers to consider livestock farming which was productive than depending on growing maize.