On August 1st 2016, 10 days before the general elections, President Edgar Lungu officially opened Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe which was to employ 20,000 workers in five years. The initial labour force at the time of opening was said to be 2,500 workers. He announced that government would invest 15 million US dollars in revamping the factory. Four months after the factory was opened, President Lungu’s pronouncements seem to have yielded no results.
Despite claims from the opposition that the move was meant to woo voters, the residents of Kabwe who have seen unemployment swell to unprecedented levels received the news with anticipation and joy.
It is outrageous that after several months of no activity at the factory, no one from government has made an effort to explain to the people of Zambia and most importantly Kabwe residents the happenings at the only textiles company we have in Zambia. If President Lungu was being truthful with his pronouncements regarding the injection of 15 million US Dollars, by now we would have seen new equipment taken to the factory, workers reporting for work, and at most some locally made garments in stores. With the current scenario, can government argue that the re-opening of the factory was not a political move? The only honest conclusion one can make from the situation at the factory is that President Lungu lied.
Fortunately for them, we are a nation that does not hold its leaders accountable for the promises they make especially during campaigns. It is therefore hypocritical for government leaders to ask Zambians to pray and seek God’s intervention before they ask for our forgiveness for the lies they tell. Where is the integrity in our leaders if they can shamelessly give people false hope of a better life in exchange for votes. In their own wisdom and in my view lack of wisdom, President Lungu with his leaders have now decided to divert our attention from real issues affecting our people by bringing the third term debate. we have been there before.
As citizens, it is our duty to question and demand answers when our leaders fail to deliver on their promises. This can only happen if we ourselves understand our rights and begin speaking without fear. If anyone from government has any conscious, they must explain to the Zambian people what has since happened to Mulungushi Textiles and what the way forward is.
God bless Zambia.
January 6, 2017