On Friday the 13th May, 2016, PF President Edgar Lungu held a press briefing whose purpose was to highlight the ACHIEVEMENTS of the PF Government and ask the Zambian people to elect him for a new term of office on 11th August, 2016.
From Mr. Lungu’s press briefing, it is clear that the comfort of State House and the trappings of power have totally alienated our President from the harsh reality of poverty, squalor and degradation that our people are living in. The man is indeed lost in his ivory tower and has no clue whatsoever about the hardships our people are going through.
To try to make it easy for Mr. Lungu to comprehend his failures, as FDD we will respond to his press briefing in a segmented manner.
1. THE ECONOMY
BEFORE PF CAME TO OFFICE
AFTER PF CAME TO OFFICE
• The Zambian Kwacha was trading at K5 to 1 US Dollar
• Inflation was at 7%.
• The national debt was standing at 3.2 Billion Dollars.
• The cost of living was low.
• The pump price of fuel was at K7 per liter.
• A bag of maize was at K36.
• Farmers used to receive four bags of fertilizer and a 10kg bag of maize seed.
• A bag of fertilizer was K225.
• Load-shedding was at the worst three times a day that is 3 hours a week.
• Political violence was sporadic.
• The Zambian Kwacha is trading at K10.20 to 1 US Dollar (A depreciation of more than 100%)
• Inflation has tripled to 22%.
• The national debt has doubled to 6.66 Billion Dollars.
• The cost of living has skyrocketed
• The pump price of fuel has jumped to K10.
• A bag of maize is now fetching as high as K120 in some places.
• Now farmers receive two bags of fertilizer and a meda of maize seed.
• Today a bag of fertilizer is at K420 in some places.
• Today we are load shedded everyday for a period of 8hrs and more a day.
• Today political violence has become a normal part of political culture.
The flow price of maize for the 2016/2017 farming season has remained at K75 even when the cost of fertilizer and the cost of fuel has doubled; inflation has tripled and the Kwacha has lost its value.
The cost of essential goods and services has doubled while the incomes of our people have either remained stagnant, dwindled or completely vanished. We have thousands of graduates roaming the streets, retirees are dying without getting a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
ON THE CONSTITUTION
Mr. Lungu boasts that he has given Zambians a people-driven-constitution. No, what the PF has given us is not a people-driven-constitution but a PF driven constitution. This regime mutilated several people’s submissions such as the appointment of cabinet outside parliament (which was meant to ensure efficiency and separation of powers); the mixed-member proportional representation (which was aimed at enhancing the participation of disadvantaged groups such as Youths and Women in governance structures of our country) among several other progressive clauses.
Former Minister of Finance Mr. Alexander Chikwanda confessed that we are spending three-times more than what is normal on constructing a kilometer of a tarmac. He further attested that there is massive corruption in the Road Construction Sector. Mr. Mulusa, the man Mr. Lungu has charged with the supervision and monitoring of state projects once quipped that most contractors have abandoned their works due to government’s failure to pay them their contractual obligations.
We know and understand why this government has channeled every borrowed Dollar to roads, it’s because emo balila/ that’s where they are stealing from. They are awarding themselves and their friends contracts, and collecting all sorts of kickbacks.
In any case what is the value of the road when the people living along it cannot afford food, rentals, school fees and have no access to water, sanitation and health facilities? This is what we call mesmerized growth. Growth that only benefits the elites leaving the masses in squalor and misery.
ON THE MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKETS
How has PF put more money in people’s pockets when thousands of our people have lost jobs? How have they put more money in people’s pockets when youth unemployment is at all time high? How have they put more money in people’s pockets when the cost of living is beyond the reach of the majority? How have they put more money in people’s pockets when poverty levels are above 75%. In Eastern Province, particularly Simambumbu, the village Mr. Lungu comes from, the poverty levels have reached 84%. How have they put more money in people’s pockets when the Kwacha has tumbled and inflation has tripled? How have they put more money in people’s pockets when they have imposed a two-year wage freeze on public workers? Mr. Lungu needs to be serious.
This is the legacy of Mr. Lungu and the Patriotic Front Government: Poverty, joblessness, Debt, Fiscal Indiscipline, Violence, Corruption and Abuse of Authority.
Surely PF does not deserve another term in office. Zambia deserves a government that is focused on eliminating poverty, creating wealth at household levels and putting people at the centre of development through a robust program of decentralization. And only the FDD has that vision and mission to make Zambia prosperous again.
Thank you issued by:
Edith Z. Nawakwi