[By Isaac Zulu in Chitambo]
IF people want regime change, so be it, says chief Chitambo of the Lala speaking people of Central Province.
Speaking when Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba paid a courtesy call him at his palace on Wednesday, Chitambo said citizens had the right and civic duty to demand regime change if they feel the ruling party had failed to deliver on their campaign promises.
Chitambo charged that the PF had failed to deliver development across the country.
He eulogised first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda for delivering “unprecedented development across the country”.
“Dr David Kaunda did extremely well in terms of development. The UNIP under the leadership of Dr Kaunda delivered unprecedented development across the country, which saw the country record massive infrastructure development at that time. The MMD under Levy Mwanawasa tried their level best unfortunately Mwanawasa died earlier than anticipated,” Chitambo IV said. “But under the PF and its government, they have failed to deliver sustainable development across the country. They have been in government for nine years. What development have they brought? Nothing! I am just being frank. I give credit where it is due. And I criticise where I think something is wrong. If people want regime change, so be it. No one will come and demote me.”
Chitambo lamented that his chiefdom was lagging behind in terms of development.
“Here in Chitambo district, the feeder roads are in a deplorable state. If they are talking about construction of roads, maybe they should talk about roads in urban areas and Lusaka in particular. The health centres have no essential medicines. The only drugs you can find is Panadol. We are relying on a self-help health post. And health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya came here and drove an ambulance around. But that ambulance is only used for transportation of pregnant women,” explained Chitambo, who is Frederick Chisenga. “And 56-years after independence, this place has only one secondary school, which is Justine Mukando Boarding School. The rest are basic schools with few teachers manning these education facilities. The mobile phone network is still a challenge in this district. There’s no development to talk about.”
He advised the Democratic Party leader to establish party structures across the country.
“We do not have a strong opposition party at the moment. And we don’t want to revert to one party state. Go round the country and have your presence all over the country. Look for trustworthy individuals that can help you. Even here in Chitambo you can establish party structures so that you can have parliamentary seats during the 2021 general elections. You have very few months before the general elections,” said Chitambo.
And Kalaba said the Democratic Party would heed to the traditional leader’s advice.
“Your Royal Highness, we will continue relying on your wisdom. We will continue seeking advice from you,” he said. “You are a progressive and fearless chief. You are a progressive traditional leader and that is why your chiefdom has never been hunger stricken. I am personally inspired by your leadership qualities, your Royal Highness.”
Kalaba told Chitambo that he opted to leave the PF government because he did not want to be part of the system that was entangled in illegal activities.
“I did not want to have a collective responsibility of many misdeeds that were happening in the PF government. I did not agree with what my colleagues in the PF government were doing,” he said. “I tried to advise on several occasions but my advice was always falling on deaf ears. My advice was not being taken on board. So I had no option but to relinquish my ministerial position and left the PF.”
And Kalaba said the Democratic Party’s economic agenda was anchored on industrialisation.
“The DP message in terms of economic agenda is anchored on industrialisation. This is cardinal in order for us to attain sustainable economic development. Our country is endowed with a lot of natural resources that can enhance economic development. We have mangoes, honey, cashew nuts and all we need is to enhance value addition. We can make jam and juices from some of the fruits that we have in this country,” explained Kalaba.