Answers to PF’s arguments on continuity

Dear editor

PF’s arguments so far and answers to their hollow arguments

1) UPND cannot form government because they don’t have enough numbers in Parliament. They only have 27 MPS.
2) They need to be given time to complete their term and projects especially that the budget, which is theirs, has already been passed and it cannot be changed.
3) There is nothing that a new government can do in the remaining two years or less.
4) In fact,  if you listen to their main campaign song, they are basically saying this is not an election at all but just succession or an enthronement. And Lungu is the one Sata left as his chosen successor.

Some answers to their arguments:

Firstly all their arguments are highly unconstitutional and actually based on typical hypocrisy. By implicit,  the PF are actually arguing that other political parties should not have contested. But perhaps this is what the UPND and members of the Grand Coalition on the constitution have been arguing all this time.

PF has had three solid years to pass the Constitution which would have cured this malady but chose to ignore any talk of passing the Constitution.

The argument that UPND only has 27 MPs and so cannot form government.

This is a total lie. Under the Zambian Constitution, Government is not formed by the numbers one has in Parliament but by winning a Presidential election. Under our current Constitution, the President is not required to appoint only MPs from his party. Given the reality in this campaign HH and UPND has over 60 MPS aligned to this campaign. The Constitution further provides for 8 nominated MPs. The UPND has not lured its alliance partners through blackmail and other tactics like in the past.

In any case it is not the intention of UPND to run a bloated Government with a multiplicity of deputy ministers. It is further not the intention of UPND to run a government based on arrogance of numbers. We have all seen what the arrogance of numbers has done to the country in the past.

Further, even if we were to go by their arguments,  the PF should explain how they were going to run a government in 2008 after the demise of Levy Mwanawasa. That time the PF contested elections with only 30 MPs because 16 of their 46 MPs were expelled after they participated in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

They also argue that the budget currently being applied is a PF budget. This argument is as laughable as it is worthless. It exhibits total lack of understanding of financial management and budgetary processes and execution. It indeed lacks understanding of succession processes in a governmental environment and seeks to treat national matters like family affairs.

We would like to inform Zambians that development is a continuous exercise in any country and no one can cry to be allowed to complete the development they started. It would appear that PF believes that it found Zambia as a bush and were the first party to start development project.

As in the earlier point, PF strongly contested elections in 2008 after the demise of Levy Mwanawasa knowing there was an MMD budget in place that was bring implemented.

The point is that what has been unanimously passed is the Zambian National budget and not the PF budget. Members of parliament from both the PF and opposition and by extension, the Zambian people passed that budget. The money for the implementation of that budget will not come from PF but Zambian tax payers. After all since when has the PF been known to follow the budget? A number of activities that were budgeted even in 2011, 2012, 2013 have not been financed up to now and records are there to show in the budget yellow books. A good example is the CDF for various constituencies for 2014 that has probably not been released to date in 2015 despite close of budget cycle.

Other than that again when PF came into power in 2011 they found an MMD budget in place which was being implemented.  Why didn’t they allow them to complete it? In fact three quarters of the current projects being implemented some date to as far back as late Frederick Chiluba and Levy Mwanawasa regimes.  For example, the blue print for gigantic electricity power extension projects are some of the programmes that probably date back to the Chiluba or even UNIP government regimes.

And what is a budget anyway? This is just an estimates of revenue and expenditure for a particular period and is not really casting stone. After all, even our current scenario allows for budget supplement anyway.

There is also a totally contradictory argument being peddled by PF that there is nothing a new government can do within this short remaining period. Well, not sure which remaining period because there will still be Zambia with or without PF anyway. But ‘which remaining period’ aside, the PF are on the other hand arguing that they have implemented unprecedented development projects within a short period of time perhaps more than even UNIP’s 27 years in power. Well, anybody else can possibly do even much better in the so called ‘remaining period’ than the PF’s short period of unprecedented development.

Other candidates and Zambian citizens are for example crying that the damage PF has done to the country’s farmers, increase in the cost of living, education system, failure to pass Constitution, driving Zambia back to the Highly Indebted Poor Country status cannot be allowed any moment longer within the ‘remaining period’.

The arguments by those opposed to the PF’s continued rule is that allowing them to continue at this rate is tantamount to allowing a wrong doer, such as a rapist, to continue with evil deeds because they feel they are still entitled to and have not completed.

Andrew Chibesa Phiri

Chipata

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