KEBBY Mbewe says people of Southern Province must not allow the opposition UPND to turn the area into a kingdom where they can just be imposing same old and tired faces in leadership.
In an interview, Mbewe who is PF member of the central committee said time has come for the people of Southern Province to teach the UPND a lesson for imposing the same old faces on them every election.
“Time when to impose leaders is over. People of Southern Province had enough of being given leaders in members of parliament they do not want. And this is why the province has lagged behind in everything because we have a political party that is holding parliamentary seats, which just imposes leadership,” he said. “Unfortunately, people were following blindly and this is why I’m appealing to my brothers and sisters in Southern Province to try PF this time around.”
Mbewe claimed that it had taken a lot of time for Southerners to wake up and realise that the UPND was just abusing them by imposing candidates that even its party structures did not want.
He urged the UPND to stop enslaving people in the province.
“At national level we are telling the UPND not to impose Hakainde Hichilema on Zambians like they are imposing tired faces at parliamentary level in Southern Province. Zambians have said no to HH many times. This is not a kingdom or clan where people should just be repeating themselves,” Mbewe said. “Can the UPND give the public new faces because they are tired of same old faces on the ballot. As people of Southern Province let us try PF and Edgar Chagwa Lungu now.”
And Mbewe said the PF was more than ready to win the forthcoming general election.
“It’s a known fact that President Lungu will win the elections and we will reclaim all seats in our strongholds and even in the opposition strongholds,” said Mbewe. “Our secret as PF is that we listen to what people want and we will give Zambians candidates of their choice because we know that leadership has nothing to do with individuals or party but has to do with the Zambian people. PF is a democratic party.”
But UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said there was need to end what he termed political stupidity and begin to talk policy matters.
“We would have the energy to respond to Kebby Mbewe or any PF member if they were to engage us on policy matters. Politicians have made it a trend to do politics of name calling and politics of the belly,” he said. “You want every day to be talking about useless things in order to attract attention to yourself? Who benefits from such an argument that Kebby Mbewe is trying to put across? Let him or PF colleagues pinpoint policy issues and how superior their policy position as a party is on the economy and the governance of this country, on job creation. We will gladly engage; we cannot continue as a country to engage in politics of mediocrity, arguing about this one has said this and that one has said this.”
He wondered how Mbewe’s remarks would better the lives of Zambians.
“It’s a non-starter. I also want to appeal to the media at large and the citizenry to begin to frown upon political mediocrity. Let us step up and begin to argue on policy, then people can inform their choices when they go to vote based on how they see a political party position itself in terms of governance, the economy, rule of law. Those are the issues,” Mweetwa said. “So, these old stories, people like Kebby Mbewe, let’s just leave him like that. He has no meaningful substance to contribute. We shouldn’t be wasting time as citizens.”
Mweetwa said the media was also a culprit in promoting mediocrity.
“I’m holding the media culprit because when someone makes such a useless statement, they will be making news and headlines out of such a useless statement which doesn’t touch on the lives of the people. Let’s hold political leaders to account for their being in office and what they want or have done for an ordinary citizen. I think that way we will be making progress as a nation,” said Mweetwa. “When we want to do politics based on HH, politics based on an individual, politics based on Cornelius Mweetwa, we will not be making progress. Let us do politics for the country. We are tired of such politics of name calling and that’s why as UPND we want to bring in a fresh start to stop political stupidity. Let’s end this political stupidity and talk policy.”