THE Democratic Party has observed that President Edgar Lungu has become tired to govern the country and that he needs to retire in 2021.
Democratic Party (DP) president Harry Kalaba says the PF ought to: “pave way for the DP to provide the much needed solutions that will stabilise the price of mealie-meal.”
Meanwhile, Kalaba, a former foreign affairs minister, says ministers who illegally stayed in office in 2016 must oblige to the Constitutional Court order for them to pay back the same way they respected the court’s verdict in the 2016 presidential petition.
Justice minister Given Lubinda has blatantly refused to pay back the money he ILLEGALLY obtained from the government.
Asked at a press briefing on Thursday what he thought about Lubinda’s decision, Kalaba said: “he is justice minister – he must have read the provisions of his own Act and thinks that’s the way to go.”
“If the judiciary says this is the way to proceed, why should I argue? The Constitutional Court has ruled and whether you like it or not, you must be seen to be in touch with the law,” Kalaba said.
“So, I can only advise my colleagues who want to exercise authority where it is not necessary that let us not undermine the acts of the judiciary. The ConCourt has ruled…. When the ConCourt ruled that the PF had won elections (2016 presidential petition), we were quick to accept the verdict of the ConCourt. But now the ConCourt has told you to pay back the money, you are saying ‘no! I’ll not do this!’ That’s not right! Chiwamila galu kuluma mbuzi koma mbuzi ikaluma galu ati nimaloza (loosely, what is good for the goose must be good for the gander).”
Earlier, Kalaba told reporters that the DP was dismayed with the PF government’s lack of a clear plan to address the current economic woes that have characterised Zambia.
He said political rhetoric frequently uttered would not address the country’s economic hardships.
“The economy has continued to shrink, inflation has broken through the single digit barrier to 10.5 per cent as at September 2019,” Kalaba noted.
“Erratic energy supply, with load-shedding of as long as 12 hours is not just hurting the economy but also increasing social costs! The looming 2022 balloon payment of the Euro bond must be addressed today but on the contrary, we are still struggling to find financing to pay salaries to government employees.”
He said government contracts were the most expensive in the region.
“We have seen road construction projects costing twice that of the longer distances in neighbouring countries…” he said
“State capture continues to render government losses of resources, including wildlife. The DP takes the fight against corruption very seriously as demonstrated by my resignation from the PF Cabinet and government in protest against corruption.”
Kalaba further complained about Zambia’s huge debt.
He also pledged that the DP in government would ensure that agriculture was: “given its rightful position, not only through lip service but this will be reflected in the budget, in line with the SADC Maputo agreement which encourages SADC states to spend not less than 17 per cent of their national budgets on agriculture.”
“Buying a bag of mealie-meal at K150 is way too exploiting for our people whose salaries have not be increased and for most who are jobless,” Kalaba lamented.
“To see President Edgar Lungu trivialise this matter clearly shows that the President has become tired and needs to retire in 2021 to pave way for the DP to provide the much needed solutions that will stabilise the price of mealie-meal.”
Meanwhile, Kalaba highlighted that Zambia was currently facing the worst energy crisis of all time.
He said the failure by both the Ministry of Energy and Zesco to enhance and diversify energy production was not a reason to blame climate change.
“We have the sun 365 days, why have we not diversified to solar power? History and adult age has taught us important lessons of life. One lesson is that there is more rain in Northern parts of Zambia,” noted Kalaba.
“So, why have we not invested in complementary hydro stations in the north? Instead, we want to import power from a struggling ESKOM at huge and uncompetitive prices!”