FATHER Richard Luonde has observed that the country is bleeding after defaulting on debt repayment.
Fr Luonde is also asking the government to inform the nation if the coronavirus is officially over in the country.
Zambia has defaulted on her interest payment of US $42.5 million on one of the Eurobonds.
Fr Luonde, who is opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) national chairperson, said it was unacceptable for Vice-President Inonge Wina to assure the nation through Parliament that the country would not default on debt when she knew that it would.
“The Zambia I love and you love, my fellow country men and women, is at its waste since independence. We have just defaulted on interest on Eurobonds which was due on Friday the 13th of November. There was the Vice-President and leader of the House sponsored by us, misleading the House and us by sugarcoating us that we were not defaulting,” he said in a statement. “Ba Inonge is a mother and mother…when things are not right she is expected to tell us the truth without fear or favour because it is mothers who save homes and nations. The predicament we find ourselves in is a very serious one which requires us to be honest and truthful. Zambia is now bleeding and we need sincere men and women of integrity to get us out of this mess, otherwise we are doomed.”
He accused the PF leadership of personalising governance at the expense of national development.
Fr Luonde asked, “why is it so difficult for us as Africans and Zambians in particular to tell the truth or accept our mistakes when need arises?”
“Governance has now been personalised to a level where we as citizens are rendered to be useless, when we are the employers. See what we have landed ourselves in by reckless borrowing from those we entrusted with power by electing them into office to protect us and our national resources,” he said. “Look what they are doing! Time to begin to change our focus on how we should govern ourselves begins now. Citenge, money, ubunga, cooking oil, t-shirt and many distributions should come to the end as we go into 2021. We need genuine thinkers to lead this nation.”
And Fr Luonde has asked the government to officially announce if the coronavirus pandemic has been wiped out in the country.
“COVID-19 is non-existent in Zambia of late if one looks at how we are carrying on with life as though we are super humans. COIVD-19 seems to be an issue for other nations and not us, which is a very serious presumption if we carry on in this way,” he said. “Thousands are dying in most developed countries with the most sophisticated technology and health facilities. The thoughts of those in government and the opposition have now shifted to voter registration and 2021 general elections, totally ignoring this COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said ignoring the pandemic would be a big risk.
Fr Luonde called for a more serious approach to the issue.
“Ignoring this pandemic will be at our own cost because if we look around do we have what it takes to fight this pandemic? The answer is no. And if it be the case, why are we not adhering to the advice of experts on COVID-19 guidelines on preventive measures?” said Fr Luonde. “We have become irresponsible as leaders by ignoring the nature and how destructive COVID-19 could be to humans. For Zambia, it has become business as usual. Let me remind my fellow politicians that in much as we want every Zambian to register as a voter, we should also encourage them to be mindful by adhering to health guidelines on COVID-19. Everywhere I go I’ve noticed with dismay that very few people are wearing masks and I wonder why this is so.”