(By Ben Mbangu in Dundumwezi)
HARRY Kalaba says time has come for Zambians to take the country back in their own hands. Speaking to journalists after attending Chungu Lwiindi traditional ceremony of the people of Chikanta chiefdom on Saturday, Kalaba a 2021 presidential hopeful said enough of PF jokes and games hence the need for change.
“Zambians must take the country back in their own hands. We have played enough jokes, we have played enough games, and this has to come to an end and it can only be done through Harry Kalaba,” he said.
Kalaba said treating things as business as usual was what had relegated the country to its current poverty levels.
He said it was disheartening that Zambians had been given a raw deal in terms of land acquisition while foreigners had it easy.
Kalaba said it was unacceptable that Zambians should just be escorting others in acquiring land while they kept watching as if they were not the owners. He said land matters were complex and required serious attention. Kalaba said there seemed to be limited choice in the management of land affairs in the country. He said it was for that reason that citizens should consider him in 2021 because he understood such matters very well. Kalaba said Zambian businessmen had been given a raw deal under the PF regime while foreigners were becoming rich as they were the only ones doing everything starting from airports, roads to mere construction of secondary schools and universities.
And addressing Dundumwezi residents at the Lwiindi ceremony, Kalaba the Bahati PF member of parliament said Zambians could not be nomads in their own country. He said the eminent eviction of Dundumwezi residents residing in forestry reserve was unacceptable.
“At 54 years (of independence) no Zambian should be made to be a nomad in their own country and, as Harry Kalaba, I want to promise you people of Dundumwezi that I’m with you in this matter,” said Kalaba amidst cheers from the crowd.
He said the government was supposed to be talking of setting up industries in rural areas like Dundumwezi and not about evicting people.
Kalaba said the area had potential in agriculture and could feed the entire nation hence must not be tampered with by anybody.
He said agriculture was the only industry that had potential to end poverty among the poor in rural areas. Kalaba vowed to continue speaking for people in rural areas because they were the ones in need.
“Why should people of Dundumwezi be evicted when foreigners in this country are involved in land banking and are sub-dividing the same land and sell to Zambians yet indigenous people are being pushed around here?” Kalaba wondered.
He said the government had deliberately failed to put in mechanisms that could help empower citizens.
Kalaba said come 2021 and “there is power shift to DP.”
He said he would ensure every Zambian had a title deed because that was the only way to signify that they were the owners of land land. Kalaba said there was no way people would call themselves Zambians when they did not own title deeds to their land.
He pledged to marry the issue of land with acquisition of national registration cards (NRCs) if given a chance in 2021.