DP president Harry Kalaba says the PF is “window-dressing” its popularity by ‘winning’ by-elections.
He also charges that Zambia is embattled, under siege and battling with State capture.
Meanwhile, Kalaba says it doesn’t augur well to clearly see that appointments now in the PF government are skewed towards a particular trial grouping.
He spoke at a media briefing at the Democratic Party secretariat in Woodlands area in Lusaka yesterday.
Kalaba, who sat with party national chairman Nedson Nzowa and national secretary Precious Ntambu, explained that with a DP government in place, by-elections would be gone.
“We don’t want to be wasting money on by-elections that only seek to continue serving the PF, in trying to window-dress their popularity towards the public, while everybody knows that the time for the PF is up,” Kalaba said.
“So, we are going to do away with by-elections so that we can concentrate on development, as opposed to doing politics every day.”
He also said the low employment levels in Zambia meant that the employed had to pay more Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
He complained that the level of employment in Zambia was not sufficient to generate enough taxes to sustain national development.
Kalaba stressed that: “Zambia is embattled, under siege and battling with State capture.”
He said it would require Zambians’ collective resolve to address the country’s leadership and economic malaise and: “set ourselves on the path of economic emancipation.”
Kalaba committed the DP to working with Zambians in an alliance to usher in an accountable government in next year’s elections.
On current tribal divisions in the country, Kalaba explained that Zambia was very unique in that it had enjoyed its diversity over the last 56 years.
He noted that Zambia’s diversity was one that needed to be celebrated, than despised.
He underscored that the DP had noticed, with dismay, the use of strong language against people from other tribal groupings.
“We have also seen a significant increase in posting of negative comments on social media from some parties aimed at creating and winning sympathy while peddling tribalism. This thing has to be fought tooth and nail,” Kalaba emphasised.
“The PF must help us in fighting this scourge. It doesn’t augur well to clearly see that appointments now in the PF government are skewed towards a particular demography, a particular [tribal] grouping. We are not as divided as the President wants to project us. We are a united people!”
Still on tribalism, Kalaba continued: “we can achieve much more than what is being portrayed today.”
“But we are using tribalism as a tool; I come from this region therefore you should elect me! [But] what Zambians are looking for is a battle of ideas. Who has got the best ideas to take Zambia out of the current economic quagmire?” Kalaba said.
“The DP would like to call for maturity in the manner in which we do politics. Some politicians are keen on sowing seeds of division on tribal lines.”
Kalaba also pointed out that it was highly concerning that PF members, from President Edgar Lungu to the governing party’s branch leadership, continue to hold large gatherings “with little or no regard for adherence to public health directives or guidelines.”
He said the DP’s view was that the PF, as the party in government, must be at the forefront of all interventions that were aimed at fighting COVID-19, rather than blowing the spread of the deadly pandemic.
“We in the DP strongly believe that the governance of a nation should never be left to chance as everything that happens should be a product of deliberate and consistent planning and that those in leadership must have the will to see the plans through,” Kalaba noted.
“For the PF leadership, it has continued to be business as usual, besides the fact that the country is faced with serious economic huddles that have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet the President and his team have failed to provide a meaningful recovery plan for the nation.”
Kalaba indicated that Zambia was today a fragile country, “with grave and rising insecurities across many fronts.”
He said he was aware that Zambia’s main challenge currently was the failure by those in leadership to take strides to arrest the escalating poverty crushing citizens.
Kalaba further explained that it was self-evident that the PF government had presided over the most haphazard developmental agenda, with the highest number of questionable developmental projects since 2013.
“During this period, the country has suffered significant losses through the public procurement process,” he said.
“The PF government has failed to provide accountable leadership to the people of Zambia. This can be seen through the contract sums in most of the projects that this government is contracting.”
On the execution of public order Act, Kalaba PF called on those in the government to restrain themselves and ensure that they adhered to rules of political fair play.
“While we appreciate the need to observe social distance during this period of COVID-19, it is sad that the PF government has continued to abuse the public order Act and used it as a means of disenfranchising other political parties and therefore rendering the political playing field uneven,” complained Kalaba.