EXPECTING changes within a year is nonsensical, says Aaron Milner.
In an interview with the Pro-PF regime Post newspaper, Milner, a former home affairs minister in the Kenneth Kaunda regime and freedom fighter, said Zambians should give President Michael Sata a chance and support him.
“There will be mistakes here and there but those can be solved. Wanting changes within a year is nonsensical. No one must ever think we say that we were perfect; we made our mistakes, we are human beings. And those mistakes over the years have been corrected. More serious mistakes have been made by different government structures. Young people of this nation; find solutions for them,” he said. “Don’t run down Michael Sata at the moment. Give him a chance.
Running a country for a year is nothing. Africa and the rest of the world have many problems in various sectors. Michael Sata needs our total support in the areas he is trying to improve the lives of the people, we must be patient. Nations are never built in one year, 10 years, 20 years, America, Britain, France how long have they been independent?”
He said President Sata was his official in Kitwe when he was deputy secretary general and he had tremendous qualities.
“The new president who takes over may even be worse than others, so let Michael Sata be given support and let’s unite and let him go ahead,” he said.
And Milner said leaders championing tribalism should be done away with.
“Don’t support them. They will never be good leaders of this country. Let those who think wisely be supportive to Michael Sata, five years is not long. If he wants to stand and he is elected for another five years, so what? Let’s see if he can find solutions and he will find solutions to some of these terrible conditions that our people are facing. Let’s be patient, God is there to support him,” he said.
He said the major challenges facing Zambia at the moment were poverty, unemployment and inadequate of housing.
“It breaks my heart to see our women in the streets selling what they have to meet their daily needs. Terrible conditions that they undergo, it’s not only in Zambia, it’s all over. I am grateful that the women of Zambia are beginning to be put in senior positions. They must not let us down, they must prove and go ahead with the future of our nation. They must not be self-inspired.
That’s why in Kaunda’s time, we in Cabinet refused pension. We said ‘how can we go on pension when our people are suffering the way they are?'” he said.
Milner said some politicians of nowadays think of themselves more than the people they are serving.
He hoped that President Sata would wipe that out and deal with the issue of gratuity.
“Not politicians; we should not be getting gratuity. How do we feel? Zambians are wonderful people, let’s think that way and help each other. Let them put money in areas that need the uplifting of the poor people,” he said.
And Milner said the railway system in Zambia was run down.
“That is why today you will find so many trucks carrying goods from one part of Africa to another. And the roads are shattered. If the railway system were working properly, a lot of this will not be happening. We have to find ways of getting back our railway systems. Let the railway system be the ones that carries this load because we cannot maintain the roads because they are very costly to build and rebuild,” he said.
He said he supported the government’s move to take back the Railway System of Zambia as he believed that it would be rejuvenated and brought back to life.