FATHER Leonard Chiti says no amount of money, gifts and bribes can stop Zambians removing a ruling party from government. And Fr Chiti says it will be interesting to see whether President Edgar Lungu will visit orphanages other than Kasisi, which is well funded, to see the conditions they are in.
Commenting on Sinda MMD member of parliament Levy Ngoma’s statement that if money won a political party votes, the party would still be in power today, Fr Chiti, who is Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections director, said Zambians could not be fooled. “It was surprising that the MMD started giving money, gifts; all of a sudden they (MMD) started building roads. Zambians can’t be fooled. Zambians, to begin with, are patient. They give people time. They gave the MMD 20 years to prove that they meant well but Zambians just got fed up and no amount of money, no amount of gift-giving changed their minds,” he said.
“I agree that sometimes some of us get frustrated that we take a long time to make up our minds but once Zambians have made up their minds, no amount of persuasion, no amount of gift-giving, bribing would make a difference.” Fr Chiti hoped that Zambians could make up their minds on the PF government soon. “One only hopes that it should happen a bit sooner than it normally does because again, how patient can people be? Strangely, we are patient people. We waited for 20 years to show the MMD the door, the exit. The question is for how long will the Zambians wait to make another decisive statement? We will have to wait and see,” he said. And Fr Chiti said Kasisi Orphanage was well funded and supported by many people, hence its good condition. “Orphanages like that would be comfortable. But I don’t think he can say the same thing about every orphanage across the country. That is the first thing. The second thing is that I don’t think he would wish to be in an orphanage because people don’t choose to go to an orphanage. People end up in an orphanage. And thirdly, we know that depending on how people are raised in an orphanage, some of them come out as good people, well developed people. But others come out damaged,” said Fr Chiti. “So, I don’t think a person would choose to go in an orphanage if they had a choice. Not all orphanages are like Kasisi, which is comfortable and has good people running it. It is well supported. It would be interesting to see whether the President will visit other orphanages and make the same comments. How many people do you know would choose to go to an orphanage? People find themselves there; children for that matter find themselves there because they have lost either one or both parents.” Speaking he toured Kasisi Orphanage on Saturday, President Lungu said he was impressed by the living standards at the centre. “Wow, you could actually run away from home to come and live in an orphanage. Have you seen the comfort that is here,” asked President Lungu when he saw the bedrooms.