JACK Kalala says it is an insult for President Edgar Lungu to ask youths to go to rubbish dumps to create companies but give gold mining to Sudanese.
Kala also says it is an insult for the President to give the youths K30 million when he spent $130 million to buy a personal plane to enhance his aimless trips.
Updating the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, President Lungu, among incentives for the youth said “The Zambian youth I long to see is one that is taking the initiative like that young man of Chunga dumpsite waste management association who transformed trash into cash and now has built a house, employs other youth, and is organising other youth into a cooperative. Or Chilekwa Mwamba who has formed a cooperative with his young friends and today the organisation has spread across the country.”
But Kalala has advised youths not to be deceived by the K30 million but instead register to vote in numbers so that they usher in a government that will have a long-term plan for job creation.
He said the half measures by the PF government were an insult to the educated youths.
“The youths should not be deceived by the half measures taken by President Edgar Lungu. The K30 million is just to deceive them. Instead, the youths should intensify their fight, they need better than K30 million because the meagre K30 million is an insult to them given the numbers of youths who are unemployed,” Kalala said.
He lamented that graduates were now selling tomatoes and others goods on the streets yet President Lungu spent $130 million to buy a personal plane just to stretch his legs on his “aimless” trips abroad.
“$130 million is equivalent to today’s rate more than K2 billion, close to K2.5 billion and then you give the youths a K30 million, it means nothing. You are also spending $5 million which is about K90 million to just seek advise on how to repay the debts, which means that when they were borrowing this money…they now want somebody else to come and teach them what to do, how to organise themselves on how to pay this debt and they will pay him $5 million. The K30 million is nothing, it’s a drop in the ocean,” he said.
He further urged the youths to intensify their protests and demand and discard the paltry K30 million meant to zip their mouths knowing that 2021 elections were fast approaching.
“What the youths are demanding are better jobs and opportunities. And jobs you don’t create them overnight. PF has been in power from 2011 to now, and less than a year before elections, that’s when they want to start fighting solutions to the youth problems, it’s unacceptable. The youths should not accept that, they should continue to demand. In fact, what they should do is organise themselves to register in mass and vote next year to put in place a leadership that will be responsible and caring, with proper plans for the wellbeing of Zambians and in particular the youths. How many people can access that K30 million? It is probably five people or say 10 people. What can they do with this load shedding? There is no business that can succeed with this load-shedding when existing businesses are closing,” the former special assistant to the president for policy and project implementation said.
“He himself announced that they had allocated money to give to businesses so that they cannot close but what more with starting a new business with little capital, it cannot be sustained. He wants to blind the youths so that they can stop demonstrating. Let them continue fighting so that the fight against corruption is intensified, continue fighting for human rights, continue fighting for the respect of the constitution and for the creation of decent jobs. We are not talking about…you see it’s an insult again to ask the youths to go to the rubbish dump to create jobs for themselves,” he said.
Kalala wondered why government, if it cared for the youths, would not buy mining equipment to give to youths so that they can access gold deposits doted across the country.
“That’s an insult, meanwhile we have gold in Zambia and he takes gold and gives to the Sudanese. Why can’t the government buy equipment and give it to the youths to go and mine gold in Mwinilunga and other parts of the country? They are quite educated and will know what to do but he says go to the rubbish dump…I repeat, that is an insult,” he said.
Kalala further noted that the PF might select a handful from the protesting and vocals youths to benefit from the K30 million while the rest would go in the pockets of their praise singers.
He noted that the PF had promised money and opportunities to youths but only their praise singers had been benefiting.
“Even the praise singers are not given enough. Those PF youths who demonstrate, what jobs do they have? They have literally nothing. This government is turning youths into criminals instead of using them to build this country. That’s not responsible leadership, it’s a bad culture that is being developed, so we need to demand accountability from this leadership and the solution in my view will be found next year through the ballot,” Kalala said.
Further, Kalala noted that the current political environment was not good to set up any form of business.
“Even if you succeed in business, this same man (Lungu) is going to turn around and close that business like he did to The Post, Prime Television and CEC. What type of leadership is that? We want a leadership that is going to care for Zambians. We want people in government that are going to serve not to enrich themselves.”