Sinda MMD member of parliament Levy Ngoma says it is clear that President Edgar Lungu’s own vision is that of creating unemployment and hopelessness after he duped Zambians into voting for him.
In the run-up to the January 20 presidential election, President Lungu said he had no vision of his own but that he would continue with that of Michael Sata. However, on Africa Freedom Day, President Lungu said his focus was different from that of the PF of 2011. But Ngoma observed that President Lungu was elected out of deception and advised Zambians to wake up and see that they were duped. “It has now been revealed that we are no longer under the vision of 2011, but we are under the vision of President Lungu and we can only say that Zambians should wake up and see that they were duped. Now that so many things are going wrong in this country, we can conclude that the new vision is that of unemployment and hopelessness,” he said. Ngoma observed that President Lungu had completely abandoned Sata’s vision. “The PF came on the platform of wanting to vigorously fight the cancer of corruption; they came on the vision of lowering taxes, creation of employment, more money; that was the message. They came with the vision of wanting to develop this country; infrastructure development. It was very clear that that is what they were going to do,” he said. “Our current President said that was the vision that he would continue with. But now what I can say is that in the light of these revelations, him saying he has a new focus, it means he got the presidency through false pretenses. In essence, the Zambian people were duped. The PF members who gave the presidency to Edgar Lungu, I think it would be right for them to cry because they were duped. That vision has been abandoned.” Ngoma said from what was currently obtaining in the country, one could only conclude that President Lungu’s own vision was that of hopelessness, unemployment and high cost of living. “For instance, issues of corruption, I have heard many speeches from this leadership but at no time have they denounced corruption. There is no country which can develop if you do not denounce corruption. Right now, I wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that there are so many long fingers dipping into coffers here and there,” he said. “But at the end of the day who suffers as a result of those long fingers dipping into public resources? It is the Zambian people. So this vision of non-committal to the fight against corruption is not a good vision. So the sooner they realise that that is bad, the better for us all.” Ngoma also wondered what measures the government was putting in place to mitigate the deficit expected to arise from the decision to abolish the 2015 mining fiscal regime. “And what measures have they put in place to cushion the loss which we will incur from the mining policy inconsistency? Its implementation will come next month in June and we will lose K2.3 billion. As at now we don’t know, there are no clear alternatives as to where that money will come from. Is that why they have told ZRA to [fall] like a tonne of bricks on this issue of withholding tax? Is that why they want to start killing wild cats? Is that the new vision? To kill tourism? Ask any tourist that comes to this country and they will tell you they want to see living wild animals. Not dead ones,” he said. According to Ministry of Finance, government is expected to lose K2.3 billion after reverting to the double tier taxation of mineral royalty at nine per cent and corporate tax at 30 per cent. Meanwhile, Ngoma questioned why President Lungu had not distanced himself from PF secretary general Davies Chama’s call for a one party state. “Now we know that under this new vision, they would want to do everything they can in their power to take this country back to a one party state. God forbid! No wonder at the highest level, there has never been any refute whatsoever that this one party state is a non-starter. It is because this is the vision that we are now under,” he said. Ngoma said Zambians have an opportunity to chop off the long fingers that were benefiting from government coffers, by voting for change next year. “The verdict lies in the vote. So the Zambian people will have to wake up, it cannot be business as usual. Now that we are talking about a different vision. Real power lies in the ballot,” said Ngoma.