A WARD councillor in Bweengwa Constituency says the PF government’s intolerance of divergent views and failure to create a conducive environment for transparency and accountability has rendered the country’s independence and democracy an exercise in futility.
In an interview, Hamangaba ward councillor Maybin Mudenda said it was now clear that the closure of The Post Newspaper and Prime TV, and the recent attacks on radio stations in Muchinga Province where UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s programmes were disrupted by PF cadres was a sign that the ruling party was against the spirit of the efforts of the country’s forefathers who fought for freedom.
“The PF government’s intolerance towards divergent views and failure to create a conducive environment for transparency and accountability has rendered the country’s independence and democracy an exercise in futility. Our forefathers fought for this liberty and freedom which today seem meaningless because it has become an exercise in futility,” he said.
Mudenda said the spirit of democracy in Zambia started dying the moment trade unions went silent, and the government suffocated the voice of the people through closing The Post and Prime TV as well as attacks on radio stations featuring opposition party leaders.
He said as such those in charge of national coffers were no longer held accountable.
“The PF thugs must be educated about the tenets of democracy if as a country we are to record economic growth because without accountability and transparency characterised by promotion of divergent views, there will be no prudence in the usage of our little national resources,” Mudenda said.
He stressed that politics was a battle of ideas and not intimidation.
“What is it that the PF leadership doesn’t want the citizens to hear by stopping HH from talking to people on radio stations? By muzzling the media, with these sad incidents, we can safely deduce that the closure of The Post Newspaper and Prime TV is political. This kind of abuse of authority with impunity is a cancer that every well-meaning Zambian should condemn and speak their lungs out,” he said.
Mudenda warned the PF that the day of reckoning was soon coming.
“Why do PF thugs grow cold feet when HH is featured on a radio programme? They invaded Mpika and now Isoka radio station on a paid for programme. Do they still believe in democracy which allows diverse views? Do we still have freedom of expression in this country? Is Zambia a Christian nation by declaration and not deeds?” Mudenda wondered.
He said politicians must be reminded that they were products of political creation which was temporary.
“The media can be abused today but be assured that you will run to them like a chicken without feathers for protection soon when not in the corridors of power. Today we are seeing some of the people that participated in the closure of The Post Newspaper being on covered by The Mast newspaper because the public media no longer has time for them. Our forefathers shed blood to have the independence and as a united front we fought for democracy hence the multiparty system,” Mudenda said. “When you have nothing to hide, you let others express their opinion. The smell of corruption in the country under the PF regime is reaching the heavens as evidenced by the exorbitant purchase of fire tenders, shoddy road works and lack of transparency in the huge funds and materials donated for COVID-19. The people in the corridors of power have become filthy rich as evidenced by the way they are dishing out money in their constituencies and as revealed by the President who at some point admitted that some of his ministers are corrupt.”
He said the PF must be reminded that they were not the first people to be in government.
“We have had regimes since 1964 and their time to move out was irresistible. People are watching and soon they will give the last say through the ballot next year,” he said.
Mudenda said the continued intimidation and panic mode by the PF was an indication that 2021 could be bloody especially that more power had been given to disgruntled cadres who had the “blessings” of their leaders.
“My advice to the PF regime is to work on the economy that they have destroyed. Let them ask themselves how they put our country into a debt trap! Let them give us reasons why we continue having load-shedding when the [Victoria] Falls is at its peak. Let them be reminded that as a people we still remember that they promised us ‘more money in our pockets’, which is not the case. Let them ask themselves why council workers are not paid for months. Let them find solutions to pay huge sums they are owing agro dealers,” Mudenda said.
He said going forward Zambia required leaders with integrity that would always stand for the people and not for their own bellies.