NDC interim president Josephs Akafumba says it is time for the PF to go because they have nothing more to offer.
He says “this is the time that President Lungu can redeem himself by following what Rupiah Banda did” in allowing the opposition to campaign freely.
In an interview, Akafumba adds that whoever PF gives money and other gifts, they should just get and vote against the ruling party on August 12.
He said the NDC being a member of the UPND Alliance would go flat out to campaign for their presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema.
“I am not the spokesperson for the UPND Alliance, but I can say confidently that the UPND Alliance means well. We mean well for this country, and we are merely answering a call from the Zambian people that there is need for us to work together and help escort the PF to their political grave and the burial day is the 12th August 2021 so that PF becomes history,” he said.
“I encourage all of them to take whatever PF is offering because those are ill-gotten monies. They have not belonged to the PF. It is in fact their money. But do the right thing, twacula pafula (we’ve suffered enough), let the PF go. They’ve run their race, there’s nothing that they can promise any Zambian today that they’ll do.”
He said President Edgar Lungu has been in power for the last seven years with nothing positive to point at.
Akafumba outlined growing levels of poverty, adding that people should not invite more misery upon themselves by voting for the PF.
“There’s nothing that he (President Lungu) can point at apart from these mushelemuko (sliding) bridges which he has constructed in Lusaka, which have not even reduced poverty levels in Chawama or Munali where there’s a bridge,” Akafumba said. “It is even worse in the compounds. It is worse in the rural areas. Joblessness, unemployment! Most hospitals have got no medicines and so forth and so on. It’s time that we removed the PF. They should not even be given the slightest chance.”
Akafumba assured the public that the UPND Alliance meant well for them.
“The alliance means well and we are now going to go flat out to sell our presidential candidate who is president HH and our vice-president, madam [Mutale] Nalumango,” he said. “Whatever scale you want to measure the two between president HH and President Lungu, it will not balance. The scale will tilt towards HH. It’s time we changed and changed for the better.”
And Akafumba urged the PF to allow all parties to campaign freely, unlike what they have been doing in the past.
He said it was time the ruling party respected the country’s democratic credentials and stopped abusing State institutions such as the police against their competitors.
“And we also know that they will also abuse Covid rules. We will not be surprised because we are expecting to see that from now on the Covid figures will deliberately go high. Whether this is true or false we will remain to see it,” Akafumba said. “This is intended just to curtail the opposition parties, and more especially the UPND Alliance from passing their message to the people. But we are not going to allow that. We are not going to allow that. If it means defying the rule, we will defy it because we know that the PF are going to abuse the President and the Vice-President to go on a campaign trail by opening fake and non-existent developmental projects which we ourselves can’t do.”
Akafumba said people have suffered enough and they want change.
“So, this is time for change. The people of Zambia have suffered enough and we are not going to allow ourselves to be put in a corner when President Lungu and his group take the centre stage,” he warned. “I think this is the time that President Lungu can redeem himself by following what Rupiah Banda did. It is not even in doubt that if then president Rupiah Banda behaved the way Lungu is behaving, the PF was not going to be in power. I do recall myself at the time that I was Southern Province [PF] chairman, that there’s no day that we got a permit from the police in order for president [Michael] Sata to come and address a rally or for ourselves to go on campaigning. So, it is now here that the ECZ must play its role correctly.”
Meanwhile, Akafumba has warned the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) against siding with the PF.
He said in the previous elections, the Commission had seemingly sided with the ruling party.
“In Africa, electoral commissions have been known to bring in divisions, problems; even fights in the way they conduct themselves. So, the Electoral Commission of Zambia headed by Esau Chulu this time they must be seen to be neutral and cover everybody,” urged Akafumba. “But if they are going to tilt towards PF, we are not going to accept that. They must know very clearly that we have had enough of the Esau Chulu[-led] Electoral Commission of Zambia seemingly appearing to favour the PF. This time the answer is no!”