THE youths will “gas the PF out of government” because they are tired of being unemployed and that their qualifications do not matter as much as nepotism does, says Cornelius Mweetwa.
Meanwhile, Mweetwa says the UPND will also go flat out to interact with “our people to sensitise them on the status of COVID-19 and tell them that COVID-19 thus far is not as deadly as it was initially feared. But we shall insist that people continue to observe the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. But in terms of interactions, all our party functionaries must now go flat out and interact with citizens as this is now the new normal as has been seen and exemplified by the leadership of the PF who are acting as a mirror of how the rest of society must behave.”
The UPND deputy spokesperson says what has happened in Malawi is going to happen in Zambia next year because the people are sick and tired of being supervised by a corrupt PF regime.
Mweetwa, who is also Choma Central member of parliament stressed that the candidate the UPND would be very much happy to face in 2021 is President Edgar Lungu, “because he has already de-campaigned himself sufficient enough to make our work easier”.
“Even if PF changed and put another candidate, the whole institution called PF is dead and rotten to the bone because of many issues. It is like trying to change a driver on a journey on a vehicle with a very defective engine,” he said, when he addressed the media in Livingstone in Monday. “Patriotic Front as a party is a defective engine to continue to be a vehicle to deliver the people of Zambia to the promised land.”
Mweetwa said the K30 million empowerment fund as announced by President Edgar Lungu was an admission of the levels of panic in the PF government.
“We are here to remind them like we have done before that in 2021 there will be no hiding place. The words written on this wide door are very clear, ‘2021 PF exit’ and the major drivers of this exit of PF in 2021 are the young people who are tired of joblessness, they are tired to see that for one to be employed their qualifications do not matter as much as the political connection matters. They are tired to see their qualifications do not matter as much as nepotism matters. Time has come for young people to say enough is enough to political connection for one to get a job. Enough is enough for nepotistic connections for one to get a job. One must get job on merit, that is what the young people of this nation are saying,” he said. “The young people not too long ago were gassed under the watch of this administration, and in 2021 the young people using the arrogance of numbers will gas PF out of government. There is no way PF will survive this activism we now have begun to see within the young people and we encourage them to continue and not relent until the goal they have set is achieved, namely the restoration of the rule of law in Zambia and return to good governance, recovery of the depressed economy to rebuilding economic resilience where young people can have opportunities to get employed and undertake viable and meaningful businesses.”
Mweetwa said the K30 million fund for youths was a drop in the ocean and was an effort to bribe them.
“It won’t work. And as UPND, we want to register our gratitude to those that have stood steady fast and resolute in the worlds of Pilato…he has said that ‘the youths will not be bribed by 30 pieces of silver, they will not be bribed by K30 million’…when this government spend US $42 million to buy fire trucks, US $253 million to buy now obsolete solar hammer mills, US $250,000 for an ambulance, US $4.3 million on a toll gate, then you bring US $1.6 million to silence young people!” he said. “For those who have benefited or would be beneficiaries of the US $1.6 million (K30 million) that is your money that they have not been remitting for all these years. Where has it suddenly come from when they have been saying there is no money? This is now a clear indicator that when you speak up as young people, government no matter what arrogance and adamant, and even brutal, violent and corrupt that they may be, they are bound to listen because as things stand elections are around the corner and they are damn scared.”
Mweetwa, who was accompanied by Livingstone UPND chairperson Christopher Syamwenya, mayor Eugene Mapuwo and constituency chairperson Milton Maambo, said many Zambians were convinced more than before that change is possible.
“What has happened in Malawi is going to happen in Zambia because the people of Zambia are sick and tired by of being supervised by the corrupt PF regime. The regime which is concerned about self-development and not the development of the nation. The leadership that will say there is no money for youth empowerment, but because the youth whom they called disgruntled recently have spoken about their frustrations at the levels of corruption, levels of maladministration of our economy, plunder of our national, natural and mineral resources, the levels of abrogation of human rights where people cannot talk freely…” he said.
Mweetwa said the UPND has faced a lot of challenges to hold its intraparty elections due to the manner the public order Act and the Statutory Instruments on COVID-19 have been applied, yet the PF had continued holding meetings without any problems from the police.
“We have now been left with no choice but to make an observation that the PF are profiteering from the prevalence of COVID-19. They are now praying that the COVID-19 prevalence should continue so that they themselves can continue to hold political meetings and restrict the opposition ahead of the 2021 general elections which are now a few months away,” he said. “We have now seen heightened political activism on the part of the Patriotic Front. It has now become evident that the PF would want to perpetuate this political scheme of using COVID-19 for them to campaign in the name of distributing face masks, some of which they are receiving from well-wishers. They are distributing them as though those face masks are actually from the PF secretariat. We have since resolved as the UPND to go on the same path and no one is going to stop us. We are also going flat out as the UPND to interact with our people to sensitise them on the status of COVID-19 and tell them that COVID-19 thus far is not as deadly as it was initially feared. But we shall insist that people continue to observe the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. But in terms of interactions, all our party functionaries must now go flat out and interact with citizens as this is now the new normal as has been seen and exemplified by the leadership of the PF who are acting as a mirror of how the rest of society must behave.”
He urged the UPND members to remain focused, united and peaceful, because the party was looking forward to forming government next year.
Mweetwa also attacked ULP leader Sakwiba Sikota saying his attacks against the UPND members of parliament were ‘bed-time story’.
“He seeks in a poetic manner to try and educate us as MPs on Bill 10. He has referred us to Article 77 of the Constitution. I am here to remind Mr Sakwiba Sikota and people of his like mind to stop taking advantage, to misleading the nation. It is very clear that Bill 10 as we speak, lapsed, collapsed and died on the 4th of June 2020,” said Mweetwa. “He has no moral right now to begin to refer us to Article 77 before admitting that Bill 10 had lapsed. We believe that the debate surrounding Bill 10 has shifted from it having lapsed to whether the Standing Orders Committee has powers to resurrect a bill that has lapsed 20 days earlier…it has powers to recommend to the main House the extension of any bill before the House including Bill 10…if a bill had elapsed and died 20 days ago, does the Standing Orders have powers to resurrect such a bill? The answer is a clear no. Bill 10 has lapsed because they did not pay attention to the procedure and time limit of six months, in the like manner that the Constitutional Court ruled in the Presidential Petition of 2016 that 14 days is 14 days, even over Bill 10, six months is six months and Bill 10 has lapsed. It is as simple as that. For us, in the UPND, the issue of Bill 10 is dead.”