THE democratic space has continued to reduce under the Patriotic Front government, says opposition UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango.
And Nalumango has charged that the Patriotic Front has failed to govern the country.
Delivering her keynote speech during the UPND Central Province youth conference at Mulungushi Rock of Authority that was held under the theme: “Enhancing Youth Participation in Matters of Governance”, Nalumango pointed out that Zambians were not able to enjoy fundamental freedoms because the Patriotic Front regime had continued to reduce the democratic space.
She stated that people’s dignity could only be restored if the government respects fundamental human rights of its citizens.
“Under the PF regime, we continued to witness arbitrary arrests of political opponents. You cannot continue to arrest innocent people just because they hold divert views on governance issues. Under the PF regime, Zambians are not enjoying their democratic rights; they are not able to enjoy their fundamental rights because the Patriotic Front government has continued to reduce the democratic space. The democratic space has continued to reduce under the Patriotic Front government,” Nalumango said. “We can no longer enjoy our freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. People’s dignity can only be guaranteed and restored if the government respects fundamental human rights of its citizens. But this is not happening in our country. It’s for this reason that we should rise up and use the power of the vote next year and kick out this dictatorial regime. Zambians will only have hope and help in the UPND under Hakainde Hichilema. We know that they stole our vote in 2016. So remember that your first social protection is vote protection.”
And Nalumango, a former deputy speaker of the National assembly and Kaputa member of parliament, charged that the Patriotic Front had failed to govern the country.
“When you have a cause and a vision, you will achieve what you want in life. Unfortunately, our colleagues in the PF have no vision. And that is why they have failed to achieve anything economically and politically. The PF has failed to govern the country. We are all seeing that they have failed lamentably in many areas,” Nalumango, who is also UPND acting vice-president, charged. “Zambians are, therefore, looking for an alternative and that alternative is UPND. The UPND believes in delivering development to the Zambian people.”
Nalumango further called for unity of purpose among UPND members.
“We need to remain united. Unity is our character,” she added.
Speaking at the same event, UPND Central Province youth chairman Milner Mwanakampwe said change of government was inevitable.
“Youths should be agents of change. And the year 2021 is the game changer. Change of government is inevitable,” Mwanakampwe said.
He implored young people to actively participate in the governance of the country.
Mwanakampwe also stated that UPND members would not succumb to political intimidation being perpetuated by PF members.
“My brothers and sisters have died at the hands of our colleagues in the PF. We are not going to be treated like second class citizens in our own country. We should be allowed to conduct our political activities freely, without intimidation. The UPND youths will not succumb to political intimidation being perpetuated by PF members,” stated Mwanakampwe.
Meanwhile, UPND Kapiri Mposhi member of parliament Stanley Kasongo Kakubo said Zambians had an opportunity to liberate themselves during the 2021 general elections.
Kakubo stressed that Zambians needed economic emancipation because they Patriotic Front had proved to be a failed project.
“I represent people from a rural constituency where majority residents are farmers. And I can confidently state that the PF has failed us in Kapiri Mposhi. The PF has failed to deliver [subsidised] farming inputs on time. This PF is a failure,” charged Kakubo. “What we need is economic emancipation because the PF has failed us … this PF is a failed project. Zambians have an opportunity to liberate themselves during the 2021 general elections. We need to reshape our communities.”