SO far the Patriotic Front opposition does not inspire confidence, says Jack Kalala.
In a statement, Kalala said the opposition PF has, like they did in 2011, pledged to Zambians that they would provide effective checks and balances to new dawn administration.
Kalala, who served as special assistant to the president for policy and project implementation and monitoring in the Levy Mwanawasa administration, however, said reading and listening to PF’s statements in the media and their debate in Parliament, the former ruling party would not perform like the UPND did while in opposition.
“From what has been observed so far, the PF opposition does not inspire confidence. They are very far from meeting the high quality debate that the UPND provided during the time they were in opposition,” Kalala said.
He noted that the statements that PF leaders have been making since they were voted out of power last month left much to be desired.
Kalala noted that the PF had been making “frivolous statements devoid of substance”.
He said it was absurd to hear PF demanding that President Hakainde Hichilema should effect all the promises he had made to the nation before elections.
“Really? There is absolutely no sense in such demand given that the new ministers have not yet settled down. They are still getting briefs from the officials in their respective ministries. It is laughable that PF leaders would expect their colleagues to achieve in one month what the PF regime failed to achieve in 10 years. Should they continue on the same trajectory, as they seem to be, there is no doubt that in 2026, Zambians will completely withdraw their trust in the PF,” he said.
Kalala added that if the PF leaders thought that such demands would make people lose confidence in the UPND Alliance administration, then they were just making themselves look petty and lacking in sense.
Kalala, however, said Zambians were mindful that it would take some time for the new government to turn the situation around.
“Zambians are conscious that the change they want would not happen overnight. They are ready to wait while watching what the new leaders are doing. They gave PF 10 years in the hope that the leaders needed sufficient time to work things out, especially with the unexpected death of president Sata, MHSRIEP. After 10 years, Zambians realised that PF was taking them for a ride; they did not hesitate to boot PF out,” Kalala said.
He said since the UPND administration was yet to settle down and learn the ropes, Zambians are ready to wait and give their new elected leaders time to do their work and get things right.
He said people know that it was easy to destroy but extremely difficult to build.
“They know it is a daunting task to rebuild a ruined economy and the broken system of governance. They know it takes a lot of work to mend the broken pieces and to get the system of governance to effectively function again. People are aware that presently, until a new budget next year, the new dawn administration is using the budget that it inherited from the PF regime and there is nothing that can be done to change it,” Kalala said. “For the opposition PF to be demanding better results is just being malicious and unreasonable as they have always been. It is for this reason that their survival as a party beyond 2026 is certainly not possible. They will go into oblivion earlier than the other former ruling parties in Zambia. Given the rampant corruption cases that happened during the PF rule, the survival of PF beyond 2026 is in suspense. People are calling for the investigation of the suspected corrupt cases during the PF rule. Every day more and more voices are rising in chorus calling for the investigation of corruption cases and subsequent prosecution of the culprits. Zambians are also calling for the recovery of the looted funds,” he added.
He recalled that President Hichilema in his maiden address to Parliament stated that all cases of corruption, past, present and future would firmly be dealt with and that there would be no sacred cows.
Kalala said if the President honors his promises, which he has no doubt he will, very few PF former ministers and other leaders would escape the consequences of their dirty activities.
He said a life audit would easily expose all the bad eggs.
“It is easy to hide K5 note in one’s pocket but extremely difficult to millions of Kwacha anywhere, in the bank or at home. Large amounts of money always leave a paper trail. The people of Zambia, those who voted for him, those who did not vote for him and indeed those did not vote at all – should render their support to President Hichilema for the next five years. He means well for Zambia and all Zambians. I am very confident that he will not disappoint the nation as President Lungu and cohort of plunderers did. As a human being, he will make mistakes like any of us would do but generally he will perform well in spite of
the many obstacles ahead,” he said.
Kalala further said the PF regime did a lot of damage to the country which was deeper than what meets the eye and it would take time a lot of hard work, tenacious determination and perseverance to come out of the nasty situation that the state is in.
He said it would require collective effort and unity of purpose to surmount the challenges that lie before the country.
“Let us all rally behind President Hichilema and his team in rebuilding our country and make it better for posterity and us. We should ignore the cynical critics who do not mean well for Zambia. They failed to develop the country during the 10 years that they were given the opportunity to manage the affairs of our country. Instead they engaged in self-aggrandizement
and enrichment. Within a short time they became multi-millionaires and property owners while the country and the majority of the citizens got poorer. Today they want to be more knowledgeable and wiser than all of us. It is a mockery!” he said. “Lest I am misunderstood, I am not saying that the new dawn administration should not be criticised. They should be held accountable for their actions, but it is too soon to do that. We should allow them to settle down and let them work on what they have for the nation. Let’s provide advice where we can. We should not be swayed by the frivolous and malicious criticisms of the PF who failed us and looted our resources on an unprecedented and scandalous large scale.”
Kalala warned that the PF could not be trusted to provide credible and constructive checks and balances.
He said the oversight institutions, the Church, the civil society, the media and the people would provide the needed effective checks and balances in the interim until 2026.