FDD president Edith Nawakwi says being in opposition is not the easiest thing to do.
And Nawakwi has charged that Zesco is inefficient and has overemployed.
Speaking when she received defectors from the ruling PF, Nawakwi said unlike her, some people could not manage being in opposition.
“You are all welcome and I want us to work together. Munali is one of our strongest constituencies and I think that is the way it is supposed to be. We would have won Munali [but] there was violence, just keep praying that 2021 there should be no bloodshed and it is for that reason that we as a party thought the dialogue was a forum we could use to reduce the tension,” Nawakwi said.
“As a people we need to change our position and begin thinking about our children. We have been in opposition since 2001. If anyone doubts our position to this country, they should look at our record. From 2001, we have not moved. It is not one of the easiest to be in opposition, most people are not strong enough to be in opposition, still standing strong, have a secretariat and have people. Let’s clap for each other, we are very strong, some people say Nawakwi has defected to this party or that party, just watch our steps.”
Nawakwi said the electricity crisis in the country can only be met with a mix of supply because Zesco alone was not able to meet the demand.
“The electricity infrastructure has been stressed to its maximum limit. We have done a lot of connections to the households with limited generation capacity coupled with drought in the last two years. You can only equate this to a natural disaster. What we need to do as a nation is to look at alternative sources of electricity and it is in this area that government needs to be extremely creative,” she said.
“Zesco is putting an impediment on private generators and that is what government should be dealing with. The wheeling charges should be reasonable enough so that even FDD can generate power here at the secretariat and be able to sell to a consumer in town.”
Nawakwi said; “Zesco is inefficient, the system that they are using, they are overemployed. In 2011 they had 5000 workers on Zesco’s payroll. As we are talking now, there are over 13,000 workers on Zesco’s payroll. They are bloated. People need to have vision, we need a combination of various sources. It wont just happen, we need policies in place. We are available to advise if we are asked.”
Meanwhile, Martin Mambo, who led the defectors, said it was a bad thing to be a defector and he had been misled to leave the FDD in the first place.
“It wasn’t my intention to leave FDD. Even if I went to PF as a defector, I was just used by someone. My colleagues know exactly what I mean. Madam president, I am very humbled to come back to my own party,” Mambo said.
“When you leave your party and go to another party, you become useless because my dignity ended at the door step of the PF. I told Antonio Mwanza, I am not coming there, I am just escorting you. We are supposed to be 300 today but the short notice I gave to the members has affected the turnout.”
The FDD women’s choir was at hand and sung songs of displeasure against the government.
One of the songs had the relics: “What these people have done is hurting us because when we are sick, we are taken by wheelbarrows to the hospital but for them, they are taken to the airport and flown abroad for treatment, what of the poor.”