WE must not fear telling the truth because service delivery will suffer, says chief Macha. He says politics in Zambia has become a drain on the treasury instead of being a tool for development. Chief Macha adds that the country must stop acting childish and stop the trend of creating by-elections which are a drain on the Treasury. In an interview, Macha said Cabinet ministers must stop speaking nonsense from hotels rooms but go flat out countrywide to explain government policies and get feedback from the people.
“The country in its current state needs leaders that can think about tomorrow and not about their bellies. Democracy is only meaningful when you have people in leadership that can think about the need for service and promote peace, unity and love for one another. People who can visualise about the future and not those looking at their bellies only,” he said.
“Why deny students’ meal allowances when they themselves the leaders got free education and where do they think students will find the money in this broken economy? Democracy can only be effective when citizens are free to say the truth. We must not fear to say the truth and we must also at the same time be open because if we fear then service delivery suffers.”
Chief Macha wondered why the government did not want chiefs to be partisan when the Constitution allowed everyone to belong to political parties of their choice. He said sometimes chiefs failed to contribute meaningfully for fear of being labelled partisan.
“Are you telling me that the President is not partisan when he is also a president of a political party?” chief Macha asked.
“These people are just arm-twisting us all. What they could have done was to say chiefs must not engage themselves in active politics that’s all and not say don’t be partisan, when we are voters as well!”
The chief further challenged ministers to go flat out to the people and explain government policies.
“These so-called ministers just speak nonsense in hotels instead of them coming down to the people and explain certain policies government is doing so that people can have a say as well. But you would just see them in hotels talking nonsense,” chief Macha said.
He asked political parties to start flexing their muscles by helping their followers with food to cushion the hunger situation. Macha said political parties must go back to their strongholds and find means of assisting their people. He said as much as government was making efforts to mitigate the hunger situation, it was important that all political parties start contributing to contain the crisis. Chief Macha said politics should not only be about votes but service delivery regardless of whether a party formed government or not.
“Each political party has a stronghold and it’s my view that people now need those leaders to go back to them and help in one way or another,” chief Macha said.
“Government is for everybody hence it should ensure that all areas are assisted whereas political parties should just make contributions towards government efforts. Political parties have money which they realise from card renewals and other finances from well-wishers, so they can contribute as well separately.”
He said it was difficult to assess whether the PF government had the capacity to handle the hunger situation in the country owing to its failure to pay civil servants salaries in time. Chief Macha said going by statements that the “national coffers are empty, it’s enough for everyone to tell the predicament the government is in” regarding its capability to respond to disasters. He urged Parliament to enact a law that discourages by-elections to help save resources for other pressing issues.
“As a country let’s stop acting childishly where every now and then it’s by-elections even when those representatives have not died,” chief Macha said.
“As a country if we want to put measures that will help save our resources, we need to stop acting childish. These by-elections, unnecessary trips where people are just accruing allowances even for things that can be done on phone or by those that are close…District Commissioners, what are they for if the ministries have principle officers that report directly to the permanent secretary supported by district administrative officers? Why giving these DCs vehicles when they don’t bring anything to the development of the country apart from serving the ruling party? Let’s halt these childish, unnecessary, things that we are holding on to if we really want to save our money for serious pressing issues. People are hungry and need food yet we are still entertaining useless expenditures. It’s sad that politics in Zambia have become a drain on the treasury instead of a tool for development.”
He urged the government to put up measures that would improve the monitoring of contracts undertaken on roads to prevent wastage of resources through corruption and shoddy works. Chief Macha urged the government to invest in water to address the apparent drought situation in Southern Province.