IKELENGI UPND member of parliament Elijah Muchima says it is gratifying to hear President Edgar Lungu condemn violence but urged him to ‘clean’ his house first. In an interview in Lusaka, Muchima said the electoral violence that has been witnessed in the country was being perpetrated by the PF contrary to assertions that it’s the UPND. He said the PF had become powerful and untouchable to an extent of breaking the law at will.
“It’s gratifying to hear President Lungu condemn violence in this country because most often they have held the UPND accountable for perpetrating violence. I would like to assure you that it’s the PF that has been at the centre of the electoral violence everywhere. And if the President means business let him clean his house first. The PF cadres have become so powerful such that no government employee can go against their will…you name it. At bus stops there is a law on who is supposed to manage the stations and bus stops but today they are managed by PF,” Muchima said.
He lamented that bus stations that are governed by the bus stations Act had been unfortunately taken over by PF cadres. Muchima observed that the taking over of bus stations was in itself an illegality that the PF government has tolerated since assuming power.
“They charge and instead of the money going to the government coffers it goes to their pockets…pockets of cadres. The government is also entertaining such illegalities and when PF reports on any government employee, that particular employee immediately loses their job. The government has captured all institutions in their party; PF has become so supreme using cadres and nobody in the PF has got control over these cadres.”
He said the PF government has allowed its cadres to misbehave.
“In any case it’s the PF that is running the government which is supposed to control and protect everyone but today we are no longer even protected by the police. I can report any matter, any case to the police but they will just trash it. But if it’s the PF that reports, the police will be running. I want to refer to myself that I have not been able to visit my constituency freely. I am surprised that there has been a report in one of these papers, biased towards PF, claiming that there were defections in my constituency Ikelengi but I can tell you that Ikelengi is a no-go area for PF.”
Muchima noted that the PF was a failed project as he observed that the former ruling party runs its affairs better. He regretted that his constituency has been neglected by the PF government just because it is an opposition strong hold. He cited the road that leads to the port, which has been abandoned half way and warned that Economics and Politics should not be mixed.
“PF is a failure, it’s a failed party. If you compare the activities of PF and MMD, people have vindicated the former ruling party, the MMD. PF has failed in many areas of governance, the President went to Ikelengi to commission a road but today go and see that road, and there is no road to talk about. The contractors have abandoned the road and that passage is a very critical one that leads to the sea, the shortest route to the international market but it has been neglected. Economic and Politics should not be mixed but because Ikelengi is UPND stronghold that road has been neglected and has not been done,” Muchima said.
Muchima however maintained that regardless of governments neglect of the area, the UPND is still popular a preferred party. He said even if the PF flouted three candidates at the same time, he would be a them pant down.
“You think people of Ikelengi are foolish to vote for PF who have neglected them on one project, one programme 105 kilometres? Let elections be called today in Ikelengi, I want PF to adopt two candidates to stand against me. The one who stood against me Kawanu Abuid and Kayekesi who is the DC, including their provincial chairman if he wishes…three of them can be adopted to come and stand against me from UPND, they will have a rude shock if the three of them will get even a thousand votes. People of Ikelengi are not happy with this government. Talk of the clinics, the 650 clinics, nothing has been done. No project in Ikelengi has been completed. Which programme can they talk about which is a success? They talk about the cash transfer which is an MMD programme, we created and left it after we started it in Eastern Province and Southern. It’s merely rolling on. This is the money the PF has been stealing,” Muchimba said.
He regretted that he has not been allowed to hold any meetings in his constituency despite the circular issued by President Lungu when he was Minister of Home Affairs directing that members of parliament don’t need permits to hold meetings in their constituencies.
“Allow the people of Zambia to make choices without intimidation. In 8 years CDF has only been disbursed twice, with one only paid in part,” said Muchima.