FDD vice-president Chifumu Banda has censured party members for remaining silent when the country is going through problems.
Opening the Eastern Province party conference at VNT Motel in Chipata on Monday, Banda urged members to “remove the mask, talk and wear back the mask”.
“It is the obligation of every party member to work for the party. Our problem as a party has been that people do not want to talk even though they know that the country is going through a lot of problems. Yes, this is the land of agriculture. People at provincial committee, how many of you have at one time or another highlighted the problems which have beset the agricultural sector?” he asked. “How many of you have for a minute even throughout the term of your office stood up and complained about the distribution of inputs.”
Banda said it would be difficult for those in Lusaka to talk about problems in Eastern Province if local leaders were not talking.
“How many of you have complained about poor rainfall? How many have complained about the marketing of your crops? Now who do you expect will know the problems which our people face here other than you, the local leadership here?” Banda added. “Therefore, I am challenging you that God has given you wisdom, God has given you the mouth; use it to highlight the plight of the people. It will not do to expect a person residing in Lusaka to be talking about late delivery of fertiliser in Lusangazi, late delivery of fertiliser in Chipangali. It will not do.”
And Banda said the success of the party depended on the local leadership.
He implored the new committee to be on top of things and spearhead elections.
“If all of us want to sit with folded hands, looking to heaven thinking God will speak for us, He will not because God works through us. If we want to succeed, let’s help each other. That is the challenge that I am putting across to the people who will be elected today,” said Banda. “Even in districts, each district has unique problems. We hardly hear anybody complaining about the problems so that the government of the day can attend to those problems. Why the silence? At least now you can understand, we are all wearing masks that’s why we are not talking. But we started wearing masks a short while ago. So I am urging you that let’s make a difference. I am urging you to remove the mask for a short time, talk and wear back the mask.”
He said it was one of the obligations of the party members to contest elections so long they had the qualifications.
Banda said the party would only grow if it had representation in institutions of governance.
He urged members to spread the message that the party was inviting aspiring candidates.
Outgoing provincial secretary David Shanzi urged members to work hard and ensure the party won the forthcoming general elections.