I have been critical on the behaviour or rather the conduct of opposition parties especially the UPND and Hakainde Hichilema. Not because I hate them but because I base my opinion on what I see and observe. People have accused me of being one sided and only critical to the opposition. We have an opposition which behave like agents of Doom-I am not going to just watch.
I think people expect everyone to criticise the government of the day because that is the way we are brought up. For me that is not the case and I don’t owe anyone an apology because I believe I say the truth. Hence no matter how I will defend my opinion people will never understand because most read to comment or reply and not to understand.
Opposition parties are not immune to criticism. They are part of the democratic process hence they need to be sane in what they do, how their supporters behave and what characterises their existence as a party. In this regard if they turn into vuvuzelas or promote stone or iron age politics I will always speak against that. Some of these political parties don’t mean any good for Zambia. Their aim is to destroy and distract government. Their aim is not to provide advise or solutions but tension and hostility in the country. They will celebrate on every job lost and blame it on government.
UPND knows that even if they were in power jobs were going to be lost because it was inevitable. Because we as a country after selling our mines put most of our eggs in the mining basket. These eggs which are not taken care by us thanks to the people who sold or helped sell our mines. The problem of the mines was created 20 years ago. Hence the planing should have taken place that time.
The money from the sell of our mines should have been probably used to build or invest in power generation projects. I guess people were busy pocketing the money. I don’t understand why people in the opposition would even have the guts to say the PF government is the cause for people losing jobs in the mines. Or the government is the reason we are having a power deficit.
Edith Nawakwi was Energy Minster how many alternative energy projects did she propose or build. HH helped to sell our mines. Yes he was doing his job. But as a Zambian and economist did he ever advise the government of the day on which was the best sectors to reinvest the money in. Or maybe his focus was buying ingombe(cattle).
People are losing or have lost jobs but government is working hard to create more possibilities which will in turn help proved jobs for young people and those on the labour market. In fact more people would have been sent home by the mines but government’s meeting with executives from mine companies prevented that.
The PF government is doing what it can to put a lot of things in place. Zambia was one of the countries with a poor road network. But that is changing now. I mean how do you expect to explore other sector which can bring income to your economy with a bad road network. Roads constructed will bring about development and investment in rural towns. Zambia has a lot of potential in the tourism sector. Not everyone can fly to some places but most can drive. The other point is that our big cities are over populated. Social and economic development can now go to smaller towns and proper roads are cardinal. Agriculture inputs and farm produce can now reach people and bigger markets on time. Moreover, one will not want to invest in a country with 18th century roads.
Government is constructing electricity generating plants. Plans to put in place solar energy plants around the country have reached an advanced stage. Meaning we are not going to centre only on hydro generated power but also green energy which will also be cheaper.
Universities are being built meaning that programmes in more practical course should be taught to young people. We will need to maintain those solar energy plants and roads ourselves. That is what we call development. Development which will make people seeking power to do their best in distracting people in seeing these projects. They will distract the government in doing their job. This is where President Lungu and his government need to be focused.
As much as they are a government of all Zambians. They should know that most opposition parties are praying for their failure. UPND wants PF to fail. It is the only way they can be in government in their thinking. But I have some bad news for these agents of doom. We have close to 12 months to the next general elections. By the time it will be July next year most roads will be done. Schools, universities, hospitals and health centres will be all but completed. This will result in taking services closer to the people and creation of jobs. Teachers, health personal and lecturers will be needed. The power deficit will be mitigated and in few years it will be history.
My advise to President Lungu and his government is not to make these undemocratic parties and agents of doom who find happiness in the challenges of people get into their heads. You have a job to do. Making your point on how many people welcomed President Lungu in Livingstone will not complete those road projects. I don’t care if they were 13736, 1870, 351, 123, 51 or 9 people. What I care is for you to do the job you were elected to do. We want you to facilitated development as much as possible so that our economy can become stronger than it is now.
People should know that elections are next year and HH has no prof of what he is going to do in the event that he won. He is going to hold those rallies for the next one year. PF is also going to hold those rallies just like other parties. But there is one thing PF is going to be doing which HH and his friends will not be doing. Completing projects and creating jobs for the youth.
Come August or September next year people will forget about the UPND rallies. The only thing people will remember about UPND and HH is that his party celebrated the misfortunes of Zambians. People will also recall the Nega Nega type of voting. HH will be remembered as a dancer. But for PF things will be visible-Jobs will be created as projects will be completed.
Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba MA
PhD Candidate-Political, Gender and Transnational Studies
International Postgraduate Centre (IPC)