Zambians must be annoyed for being reduced to beggars by PF, says Ernest Mwansa

ZAMBIANS must be annoyed for being reduced to beggars by the PF, says new Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Ernest Mwansa.

And Mwansa says all of Zambia’s problems point to a national disaster.

Speaking during the re-launch the ZED party as “the Zambia We Want”, Mwansa said Zambians have an opportunity to vote for a better Zambia.

He further alleged that Zambians have lost a sense of unity and purpose because of selfish individuals who had divided the nation on tribal line.

“There are no jobs for most of our people and for the lucky few, their salaries remain the same while food prices are rising on a weekly basis. Corruption is everywhere. Our national debt was a staggering US$33 billion in 2019. Our health and education systems are poor. The police service is intimidated and ineffective, cadres are too powerful, and we have lost a sense of unity and purpose as Zambians. All these problems point to a national disaster, and a country that is burning. We believe we can stop the fire, we can rebuild Zambia and make it prosper,” Mwansa said.

“It is time for change and change for the better. That is why ZED is here. Our love for a better Zambia has compelled us to rise up as Zambians; for that family in Nyimba who feed on leaves because they cannot afford a proper meal, for that miner in Chingola who has lost his job at the mine, for that shopkeeper and waiter in Kitwe who have lost their jobs and cannot pay rent; for that retired teacher in Zambezi who stands in the queue everyday but cannot get her pension, for that father in Mwinilunga with cancer but has no way to get to a hospital.”

Mwansa said Zambians have an opportunity to transform their country into the Zambia they want on August 12.

“It will be a fight for the very soul of this nation. Either we continue to sink further into the abyss of poverty, corruption and injustice or swim and rise into prosperity, integrity and opportunity. Today we find ourselves bankrupted. Although in general goods are available in shops, there is very little money circulating among the majority of Zambians to purchase them,”Mwansa said.

“The result is that only the selected members of the Patriotic Front have money enough to buy whatever they want whenever they want; personal helicopters, free fuel to hundreds of taxi drivers, free meals to cadres daily and like in the days of UNIP, poor Zambians are left to survive on handouts from the government and the PF party cadres. Zambians have no choice but to accept handouts given to them by the very people who are exploiting and dehumanising them. This Zambia we have is rejected completely. Zambians are demanding for the Zambia we want.”

He said with Zambia’s slumped economy, people were more sad than they were in 2013.

Mwansa echoed that access to national wealth should be the right of every Zambian and not selected political cadres.

“This is why ZED is calling on Zambians to reject this Zambia we have and usher in the Zambia we want. Thirty years ago Zambians fought against the rise of political thugs called vigilantes who terrorised our people wherever they went; whether they went to the market to buy food or they went to a shop to look for soap or cooking oil,” he said.

“Today, we still have these kinds of political demons at every marketplace and bus station terrorising and dehumanising our people. Zambians fought against them and won. These are devoid of any fear of the law. They even grab land. A Zambian who has some piece of land can have his or her land grabbed by these party cadres at will and since our judicial system is too slow and sometimes completely lacking, the legal owner is left with no choice but to compromise with these criminals to avoid completely losing his or her entire piece of land. This is the Zambia we have today and we totally reject it,” he said.

Mwansa said Zambia needs to develop an economic system that fits into its context.

“ZED will ensure that national wealth is equitably distributed throughout this our beloved country so that no area or region should be left out of the economic agenda. This will be done by the central government directly funding each ward in this great country,” he said.

“Once in power, we will create an economy that empowers Zambians first, provides incentives for locals as well as foreign investment, and is anchored in private entrepreneurship with government leveling the economic playing field.”

He said it was about time Zambians responded to the trumpet of “The Zambia we want.”

“Now is the time to listen to and heed the trumpet call for change, change from the Zambia we have to the Zambia we want under the ZED Party. Now is the time to change and become the Zambia we want,” said Mwansa.

Outgoing party president Dr Fred Mtesa urged Zambians to ensure the country remains a beacon of peace, unity and democracy ahead of the August 12 general election.

Dr Mtesa step down from the party presidency because his current responsibilities in the nation do not allow him to participate in active politics.

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