AT the New Heritage Party, we were as happy as all Zambians were that the previous government was removed and with the subsequent peaceful handover of power, says Chishala Kateka.
Kateka, the New Heritage Party president, said although she did not win the general election, the party was not too disappointed with the results.
“The elections have come and gone. At the New Heritage Party, we were as happy as all Zambians were that the previous government was removed, and with the subsequent peaceful handover of power,” she said. “We need to and must thank God for that outcome as things could so easily have turned out very differently. What you might ask is the way forward for us.”
Kateka sees the New Heritage Party as a credible opposition to the UPND government.
She pledged to be an opposition party that would provide objective checks and balances to the new administration even without representation in Parliament.
“We are stressing the word ‘objective’ due to the fact that there is popular political opinion that to be in opposition means opposing everything that the party in government does. We are all here to better the fortunes of this country and the Zambian people. To this end, we pray that the politics of exclusion are now gone,” Kateka added.
She said the New Heritage Party did not believe in rhetoric and playing to the gallery.
Kateka said her party would like to do things differently, including commending the government where possible.
“We shall also make proposals where we deem it fit. It will be up to the new administration to take up the proposal or not take it up. We have a few issues of concern that we would like to raise at this
time,” said Kateka. “Among many other issues of concern, the New Heritage Party has foreseen a potential for a de facto one party State. The UPND has petitioned 50 seats, most of which are held by the PF as well as the Chienge seat held by Madam Given Katuta, an Independent. The Republican President, in his inaugural speech at Parliament, stated that he is a man that abides by the rule of law (meaning that it is the right of aggrieved parties to petition if there was wrong doing) whilst at the same time, he would not like to see by-elections being held as a result of these petitions by his party due to the fact that they would be costly.”