PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament on Friday was like porridge without salt, says Sean Tembo.
Tembo, leader of the opposition Patriots for Economic Progress, said President Lungu’s speech for the official opening of the Fourth session of the Twelfth National Assembly was tasteless no matter how much sugar one add to it.
He noted that the Head of State rarely addresses the nation except for a few off-the-cuff ranting at the airport.
He said citizens had expected that President Lungu would outline clear solutions to the myriad problems facing Zambia, including hunger, load-shedding, and corruption.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we have noted with great disappointment the shallow State of the Nation Address made by President Edgar Lungu on the occasion of the opening of the fourth Session of the Twelfth Parliament of Zambia on Friday, 13th September 2019,” Tembo said.
Tembo, however, lamented that President Lungu’s address to the nation was devoid of any practical solutions but it merely reminded citizens of their existing problems.
He said instead, the President decided to condemn all of Zambia’s existing problems on uncontrollable climate change.
“It is worth noting that the first step to finding a solution to a problem is taking responsibility,” Tembo said.
He added that President Lungu and his PF government, through their incompetence in the handling national matters, had contributed to the escalation of the nation’s problems.
Tembo insisted that had the PF and its government listened to stakeholders’ advice at the beginning of the year to start importing power, the country would not be talking about load-shedding today.
“To the extent that President Lungu has refused to take responsibility for his government’s contribution to the nation’s problems today through their incompetence, it is unlikely that he can possibly find solutions to these problems,” he said.
“If the PF and its government had listened to our advice not to export maize at the beginning of this year, there would have been enough supply of maize in the country today and mealie-meal prices would have been below K100. Similarly, had the PF and its government listened to our advice at the beginning of the year to start sourcing power imports, we would not be talking about load-shedding today,” Tembo said.
He maintained that President Lungu should have taken responsibility for his government’s incompetence in handling the current matters in his address to the nation instead of presenting an innocent front and blaming all problems on climate change.
“However, President Lungu and his PF government, in their infinite arrogance and incompetence, decided to export our maize and also decided to sit on their laurels for eight months without putting in place measures for importation of electricity. The end result of these clearly documented cases of incompetence is that today we have mealie-meal selling at unaffordable prices of about K150 per 25kg bag and an average of eight hours per day of load-shedding. Therefore, as a minimum, President Lungu should have taken responsibility for his government’s incompetence in handling these matters, in his address to the nation instead of presenting an innocent front and blaming all our problems on climate change,” said Tembo.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we wish to put it on record that in our assessment, the problems which the nation faces today can be attributed 20 per cent on climate change and 80 per cent on the incompetence of the PF government in handling these climate change matters.”