MUFULIRA ex-miners say the solution to their problems lies in change of government, not the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund.
In an interview, Mufulira ex-miners chairperson Friday Nsama said the former miners were living miserable lives because of the recklessness of the Patriotic Front government.
Nsama said only a change of government would guarantee the ex-miners better living standards.
“There is nothing that this presidential empowerment fund can do to us. Yes, some of our friends in Kitwe were given offer letters for plots, but the question is: where does one get the capital to start building? This is just one way of covering up their failure, but we won’’’’t be cheated like kids. Only a change of government is the solution to the job loses,” Nsama said. “It is just one of those ways in which the PF cadres are benefiting from these offer letters. There is nothing to excite us. The lives we are living are very sorry. If we have a government that cares, they could have negotiated with the mines so that we’re put on half salaries, than being completely sent into the streets.”
Nsama said ex-miners could not retain the PF in power because of fake promises.
He said only people that could not see the high poverty levels would vote for PF.
“If they are happy with the current economic hardships, then they can vote for PF! It’s about our children’s future here. Where will we take our children now that we are failing to pay for their school fees? August 11 is the redemption time for us to start new lives. This means that the choice we will make on August 11 will not only affect our lives but also successive generations to come,” he said.
“So without shame, we should settle for a government that will be capable of reversing the poverty we are in now because of failed leadership. These are the worst levels of economic difficulty coupled with high mealie-meal prices.”
Nsama said the economic hardships and job losses were as a result of bad governance, as seen from the mining policy inconsistency of the PF.
He said bad leadership of President Edgar Lungu had made many Zambians live in abject poverty.
“Look back to the days of Mwanawasa, we had the economic challenges but people did not lose jobs in these numbers. Even Rupiah Banda did better. When Luanshya Mine wanted to close, he intervened and people did not lose jobs. So all these challenges we are going through boarder on the bad leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. We need to get rid of this man, the sooner the better. And the only time and way is on August 11, through the ballot.”