ANDREW Banda says 2016 is the year of redemption and all eligible voters who have not yet registered must hurry because the countdown to the PF’s judgment day has officially started.
And speaking when he featured on Feel Free Radio’s Face to Face programme on Thursday, Andrew, who is former deputy ambassador to India, said hungry voters will show the PF the exit on August 11.
“The year we have all been waiting for is here, the elections we have been looking forward to are around the corner. This is the year for our voices to be heard; it is a redemption year and all those who have not yet sorted out their voters’ card must hurry up so that we judge PF on August 11,” Andrew, the son to former president Rupiah Banda, said in an interview.
“No one should tell you what to do; if you are feeling hungry, your answer is August 11, if your family is suffering because the breadwinner lost the job in the mines, your answer is on August 11, if your business has collapsed because of the fall of the kwacha, your solution lies in your decision, if you are now sleeping in the dark, again save yourself and save your country by voting PF out!”
He encouraged Zambians and all opposition party leaders to put the sorrows of 2015 behind and speak with one voice during the August elections.
“This is a time for unity of purpose. We must now all put our sorrows of 2015 behind and look forward to putting this country back on course and that starts with removing PF from office. Opposition political party leaders must shelve their selfish desires and put heads together to save this country from total collapse. Even the heads of families, tell the relatives who are under your care that they can make a difference by registering as voters and making the wise decision on August 11,” Andrew said.
And speaking on Feel Free Radio, Banda said voters should not be intimidated by the violence being perpetrated by PF cadres.
“I don’t think a group of Zambians, human beings or souls of God can just suddenly start violence, there is a force somewhere that bankrolls these people and we are talking little money here, just change to cause trouble. There is a radio station across the road here which was attacked and the perpetrators of that violence are also known and are walking scot-free, somebody paid those people to go and cause that violence, there was no way you would have violence in such an organized manner,” Andrew observed.
“Leaders of political parties must be trained not to pay and encourage our young people to fight each other and kill each other over politics.”
He said when punishing perpetrators of violence, there was need for the law to also look at the politicians that send the culprits.
“Look, the last four years have been very frightening. I will give just a few examples; in North-Western Province, a number of people were maimed when there was a by-election there about three to four years ago, that violence went to Livingstone and there was a death involving a political cadre. That violence continued and there was intra-party violence in the ruling party where another life was lost at the airport turn off in Lusaka and to date, nobody has been arrested,” Andrew observed.
“Most of this violence that we see is actually perpetrated by the members of the ruling party. Three weeks ago, there was violence in Vubwi, you know what happened, two journalists, one of them from this radio station was beaten badly and the other one from The Post Newspapers. Never in the history of this country have I ever heard that someone has been beaten and urinated on by a known cadre from the ruling party and that gentleman is walking freely.”
He said there were a lot of factors that were causing violence.
“What is causing all this is that there is so much unemployment out there, there is so much poverty out there, most of these people that are inciting young people, they themselves are very wealthy people and these guys (cadres) are out there on bus stations, some of them have been drinking as early as 6 O’clock and they are told ‘go and do this’. The person who is telling them to do that is in Lusaka or elsewhere living a lavish five-star life,” Andrew.
During the live phone-in programme, a caller, who identified himself as Phiri, said there was something wrong in the country.
“There is something wrong in this country whereby we have hunger and poverty, but people pretend that there is no hunger, there is no poverty simply because of allegiance to PF. What I believe is that economic management of this country truly has gone to the dogs, people in the leadership are not doing good enough to improve our economy,” Phiri said.
“For example, in the past four years, Zambia has experienced a lot of by-elections that had a ripple effect on the economy.”
He said all the key opposition leaders in Zambia are better leaders than President Lungu.
Phiri said leaders like FDD’s Edith Nawakwi, UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema and Wynter Kabimba of Rainbow Party had a better leadership record than President Lungu.
“Let’s look at the background of our leaders, let’s look at the quality and their involvement in the economy, what was our President Lungu doing before he joined politics? Now look at his opponents like Edith Nawakwi, the FDD president, look at Hakainde and Wynter! They have a sound background, they know the economy of this country, they have known the economy of this world, given chance they can improve the condition of this country from where it is to a better level,” said Phiri.