PARAMOUNT Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people in Eastern Province has observed that sometimes people shun voting because candidates are imposed on them by political parties.
And Eastern Province for Edgar Lungu and Development Foundation chairperson Emmanuel Jay Banda says opposition political parties can rule Zambia after 2090.
Speaking when the Foundation led by Banda paid a courtesy call on him at Ephendukeni palace on Saturday, Mpezeni agreed with Banda that sometimes the province record voter apathy during elections.
“Ikankhala nkhani monga yama elections, mungaone ngati mwina banthu sibafuna kuvota nthawi zina, banthu ofuna kuvota koma chikulene ngako, nthawi zina banthu mumabapasa banthu asali bamene. So mukabapasa banthu asali bamene banthu owelela soti kuvuli. Koma chikondi banthu anachikondi ngako na a President a Edgar, kapena nthawi zina mukondolakwisa kwamene uko (when it comes to elections, you may think that people don’t want to vote but they like voting. The only problem is that sometimes you give them wrong candidates. So when they are given wrong candidates they backslide in voting. But people love President Edgar Lungu but sometimes you make wrong adoptions),” he said.
Mpezeni said sometimes the ruling party fields candidates that are not popular.
“Bayakene nibala akuti pakuti nivakumunzi nivimbuli, so tingabaponyeleko aliyense, chamene icho ndiye chamene chukondo paya kweni kweni. Kuno kuliye munthu okana munthu wake, kuti akupasani munthu, lomba mailo akaleke kuponya voti, sangakane yai (Others are those who take advantage to say because they are ignorant and illiterate people from the village, we can impose anyone on them. This is one of the things that discourage people. Here there is no one who can reject their preferred person),” he said.
Mpezeni said people appreciate the work that the government has done like the roads, hospitals, schools, among others.
“There is nothing wrong that he (President Lungu) has done, he has performed. People understand, your party has helped. We had different presidents, most people only knew one storey building, the FINDECO House in Lusaka and that one which is near Lusaka Main Post Office but now things have changed. These days when you are going to Lusaka there is no traffic congestion, this has reduced. If the dead presidents can rise from the dead, they can be surprised. They can think that they are in South Africa,” he said.
Mpezeni attributed the bad economic situation in the country to COVID-19.
“Mukoona olo pa Malawi apa, benzofuna change, mwabaona banthu ku Malawi mokuvutikila, manje it’s too late bakumbuka manje, namwe mukopanga mistake, mukochita soti chimozi mozi. Pitamoni kubaunikila banthu (You should see how even in the neighbouring Malawi, they wanted change, you have seen how the people are suffering. But now it’s too late, they are regretting now. Even you here if you will make the same mistake you will do the same or face same challenges. Continue guiding people),” he said.
Mpezeni said what people want was development in the country.
“We don’t want war in this country, we want development. Most people when they hear me saying such things they say, I am political. I am not political but if something is good, we should thank the person behind that good thing. If a child is doing something good, you should thank that child so that they continue with that tomorrow. Now when they hear this they will say ‘I am inciting’ but that’s not true,” he said.
Mpezeni said a good thing will always remain good.
“Mweo pitilizani, mwana wamzako akachita wachita ofunika kumuonga, chabwino nichabwino. Sutupatikiza koma chabwino nichabwino munthu oona eka (Continue what you are doing, when your friends’ child has done something good, thank them. What is good, is good. We don’t force anyone but what is good is good. Any person is able to see on their own),” he said.
Mpezeni said the unborn child could not be considered as a child but that one which is born.
He said as a traditional leader he would continue working with the government of the day.
Earlier, Banda explained the purpose of his Foundation, which was meeting traditional leaders across the province.
He said the Foundation was targeting traditional leaders because they were the ones who live with the people.
“Every Zambian has a National Registration Card which bears the names of the chief and village, so all the voters have villages. So when we reach the chiefs, headmen and indunas then the message gets to the people very fast,” he said.
Banda said the PF was a performing government and that the opposition could only form government in 2090.
“One of the opposition leaders took a picture at the new flyover bridge and claimed that he was in America, is that not development Nkosi? This party is doing fine, maybe the opposition can only form government in 2090 when some of us who are working and who able to see what the PF government is doing are not there,” he said.
On Friday, Banda and his team met Chipata headmen and members of the clergy.