Remarks attributed to newly appointed PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri are very unfortunate for a senior person in a ruling party. She was quoted as having urged Zambians not to vote for “ba kachema”. Mumbi Phiri’s apparent derogation was aimed at majority Zambians that earn a living by raring livestock. Our problem is not so much “bakachema” but the inherent discrimination against what the PF consider are low class citizens in this country.
From Mumbi Phiri and her PF’s message, it is wrong for marketeers, toilet cleaners, fishermen, bus conductors, janitor, kaponyas and many other blue-collar jobholders and their children to aspire higher in life.
Apparently, the same remarks were uttered by President Edgar Lungu, during the Chawama bye-election rally which to us in UPND is worse than xenophobia. It is now clear for all to see that even when Lungu and his PF government claim to be fighting discrimination, they are actually openly promoting it making the whole motto of ‘one Zambia one Nation’ meaningless and a sham.
It is surprising that Lungu and his people in PF have so much hatred and low regard for fellow Zambians who earn a living through toiling in the streets, keeping livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, etc, when they are leading a country where more than 70 percent have no decent jobs.
We now understand why Lungu and his PF government have failed to create jobs and have so much contempt for farmers in the country. This is why we have rising food costs due to poor agriculture policies which include paying farmers late kabili nibakachema fye.
As UPND, we are not shy to say agriculture, which includes livestock, will be one of the engines of our economic agenda that will reduce hunger and poverty and reduce the cost of living for our people and create decent jobs and wealth through value addition.
At a time major industrial sectors are declining in Zambia, the UPND will prioritise Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sectors for job and wealth creation which, Lungu and his PF just consider as mere ‘bakachema’.
Economically booming countries even neighbouring Botswana, which is basically a desert, are thriving because they offered economic opportunities to these sectors PF consider as ‘bakachema’ to be the creators of jobs and wealth.
But to Lungu and PF, Zambians doing Small and Medium economic activities are basically sinners who should not be assisted to even aspire higher and be eligible to rule the country.
Zambians should now judge for themselves who are bent on discriminating and dividing the country.
As UPND, our campaigns are always inclusive of all citizens and issue-based hence dubbed ‘Zambia United”.
UPND Chairperson for Information and Publicity