THE moment we allow the PF to continue beyond 2021, we might as well close this country because it will be in free fall, says Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba.
However, Kalaba says President Edgar Lungu is not a bad man.
“We’ve not even differed with President Lungu. I have only differed with him on the fact that he has betrayed the very fundamentals that he shouldn’t betray,” he said.
Speaking on a programme dubbed COSTA on Diamond TV on Sunday evening, Kalaba emphasised that the current leadership: “is broken.”
“This current leadership cannot be allowed beyond 2021. The moment we allow the PF to continue beyond 2021, we might as well close this country because it will be in free for all. Everything will collapse,” Kalaba cautioned.
“Right now, systems [in government] can’t even talk to one another. For a person to go and get a title deed at Ministry of Lands, they have to queue up and bribe somebody. Things can’t work unless you push! [But] why should you push when you have a civil servant who is paid for doing the work? The politicians are more interested in their businesses.”
Asked by the programme host, Costa Mwansa, if the boat, the PF, has been steered into a different direction, Kalaba, a former foreign affairs and ex-Bahati PF member of parliament, responded: “The PF we have now is a borrowed PF!”
“Yes, we can have the Seventh National Development Plan, you can have the PF manifesto but it is gathering dust. If the PF manifesto is being followed, why are we having a lot of taxes? If the PF manifesto is being followed, why do we have a huge number of [unemployed] youths on the streets?” he wondered.
“If the PF manifesto is being followed, why is it that a lot of women are still wallowing in abject poverty? When I talk about the PF being a different one, I mean simply that. Michael Sata’s PF, which I was part of, was the PF that was people-centred [but] this PF which is currently there is centred with businessmen. President [Edgar] Lungu is not a bad man – we’ve not even differed with President Lungu. I have only differed with him on the fact that he has betrayed the very fundamentals that he shouldn’t betray.”
On how he intended to provide checks and balances when he was no longer a member of parliament and going by the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a statement indicating that the Democratic Party should stop all party activities because of an appeal before the courts from the Attorney General, Kalaba said such could not make his democratic space to shrink.
“You don’t have to be in Parliament to provide those checks and balances; all you need to be is just a citizen of this country. Right now, I don’t even have to be a president of the Democratic Party to go to Kitwe and meet my relatives. All I have to be is a good and responsible citizen. So, there is nothing like my space shrinking,” he explained.
“Secondly, the issue of the party being deregistered is just a fluke because it is not the Ministry of Home Affairs that can tell us whether we have been deregistered or not. If we are deregistered, I’ll be the first one to ensure that our members are told to ‘keep quiet for now’; we are fighting this in court. The DP is a registered political party and if there’s an injunction restraining it from operating, you don’t just issue a statement…where is the injunction?”
Kalaba added that there were several issues that indicated PF government’s lack of seriousness, in terms of governance.
“First of all, you’ll see it from the way they have been conducting business of the country. They conduct business of the country as if it’s personal-to-holder,” he said.
And on his vision to emancipate Zambians from unemployment and corruption, Kalaba recalled that in the past Zambia was awash with industries.
He, however, indicated that the country was now: “a shell of itself” and the DP was proposing industrialisation at its best.
“Industrialisation is the only way this country is going to get out of the doldrums where it is currently. So, for the Democratic Party, it wishes to ensure that we, first of all, take advantage of our geographical architecture so that we begin feeding the region,” Kalaba said.
Further asked why plans like industrialisation and other progressive ideas could only be successful under a DP government when they could not succeed in the PF government where he served, Kalaba said Zambia’s problem was its governance structure.
“The problem that we have had in this country is probably our governance structure because all authority is almost vested in the President. He decides what objectives he is going to pursue. The President will say ‘I want to go this direction’ and that’s the direction you have to go. No matter how brilliant your ideas are, they will not see the light of day if they don’t first see the light of day with the President,” he explained.
“So, for me I saw that system as being archaic and to say the truth, you can’t go anywhere with that system.”
Meanwhile, when asked to clarify his relationship with Prophet Bushiri, Kalaba said: “Prophet Bushiri is a man of God.”
“Prophet Bushiri came to Zambia and when he came, he knew that there was Harry Kalaba who is a Christian. He went to the [Ministry of] Foreign Affairs and the foreign affairs team brought him to my residence. That’s how I know Prophet Bushiri. By the way, he even prophesied when he was at residence that President Lungu was going to win the  elections, which prophecy came to pass. So, people have got nothing to talk about,” explained Kalaba.