By Gayonthi Zulu
Having been born and raised in Chipata District, let me add my voice to the upcoming by-election in Chipata Central Constituency and state why Chipata Central should not vote for the PF candidate Lameck Mangani. In the upcoming by-election in Chipata Central Constituency, Easterners should speak with one voice and reject the Patriotic Front (PF) candidate for the following reasons;
- The PF economic ideology is not in the interest of Easterners: I say this because Eastern Province’s economy is an agricultural one and PF is not for the promotion of agriculture. The agricultural sector management, maize marketing, and fertilizer support program are all in shambles. How does the poor peasant farmer survive with the current PF ideology? The arguments about removal of subsidies so that they build infrastructure will leave the poor farmer in further poverty. We are already seeing the effects of poor agricultural management with the announcement by the Vice President that government will give relief food to 18 starving districts in Zambia. They have already turned Zambians from producers of food to starving beggars of food needing relief food. Of course they will mention natural factors such as poor rains as the cause for this but in reality, poor agricultural management has greatly contributed to the poor harvests and looming food shortages. Let us therefore not prop up the PF government whose agricultural management and policy will lead to poverty for Easterners and the rest of Zambia. Let us reject the PF candidate and vote for an opposition candidate.
- PF has no developmental plan for Eastern Province– PF has been in power for close to 2 years. Have you ever heard them state what plan they have for development of Eastern Province? They have been mute all along except for this election period when they have started their usual by-election promises. As a result of this by-election, they have and will come and make pronouncements of how they are going to do this and that for Eastern Province. Why should they wait for a by-election to say what they plan to do? Suppose there was no by election, would they have come to promise anything or would they have done anything? The answer is no because if they had any development plan, they could have come a long time ago to state it.
Eastern Province despite the large population remains without a University and they have never promised building you a University that the province so much needs. Why haven’t they done so if they had a plan to build one? They have promised and started building Universities in some provinces and not one word for Eastern Province. They might promise you now because of the by-election but do not believe. After the elections, they will be gone- Ask the people of Kapiri Mposhi they will tell you. Remember that PF promises are mere rhetoric and a campaign gimmick as they have themselves revealed. Do not believe them and do not vote for them.
- They do not care about Eastern Province– Has the President ever visited Eastern Province? The Vice-President has only remembered Eastern Province because of the by-election. They are now appearing in the East just because they need your vote. They do not care about you. Do not give them your vote.
- They have no respect for you Easterners– See the way they are mistreating your children. See the way they are mistreating and insulting Rupiah Banda. Just a few days ago, the Vice President referred to Rupiah Banda as “that chap” right in our backyard. No respect for a former President of the country. They are treating him as if he is already convicted by the courts. See the way they are disrespecting the court rulings regarding his travel and passport. See the way they bulldozed the lifting of his immunity in Parliament with only 80 MPs voting? Should we just keep quiet and watch? Remember that by Zambian law a person is innocent until proven guilty therefore, your son Rupiah Banda is an innocent man until the courts find him guilty and should not be mistreated by the PF government. Amuzingwisha Rupiah koma tili zii ngati munthu aliye kwao. We would rather, like Lameck Mangani the PF candidate is behaving, side with his tormenters. It is said that parents like a lioness, should roar if their children are mistreated and that is the only way people will treat the children with respect. It is time to roar against the PF in this by-election otherwise tomorrow it will be you being mistreated and no one will stand up for you. Some people will judge me as tribalist because of bringing this up. It is not tribalism and I am just stating the facts. If they treat us or anyone else from any region of Zambia with respect and justice I would not write like this.
They do not respect us. Do you remember how without consultation they cut off and took away Chama district and took it to Muchinga Province? Before that, we never complained as Easterners that our province was too big. The complaints we heard were from Northerners about how big Northern Province was making the province difficult to administer. If Northern Province was too big to administer, why did they not just divide the Province into two? Why did they have to grab Chama district away without consulting us? Eastern Province is already small and they decided to take away the little we have so that we become even smaller. Because of the lack of respect let us reject them and their candidate.
- They do not understand economics: Have you seen how they have removed subsidies and justifying the action by saying that it is only the rich that benefitted from subsidies? They do not understand that removal of subsidies will hurt the poor people most. Poor people also travel and the little income they have will be strained further by the higher transport fares leaving less money in their pockets. When transport costs go up because of removal of fuel subsidies, prices of all goods and services will go up hurting the poor most. Up to now, PF is justifying the subsidy removal. Just a few days ago, the PF MPs in parliament voted against a motion to re- introduce subsidies. This shows that they don’t care about the poor people of Zambia. Why should you therefore give them more MPs by voting in Lameck Mangani thereby giving them more power to make bad decisions? Do not vote for the PF candidate because they do not understand economics to lift poor people out of poverty.
- By-elections should stop-For as long as PF wins, by-elections will continue until they get the numbers they want in parliament to win motions. By-elections are bad and are a drain on resources for development. They are expensive, but PF does not care because they want more power by having more MPs in Parliament. If Lameck Mangani and other PF candidates in other constituencies lose, PF will be careful and will not cause any more unnecessary by-elections. Let us put a break to these by-elections by not voting for the PF candidate.
- Let us reject the PF candidate Lameck Mangani for the sake of Zambia as a whole– PF is mismanaging the country in a big way and if they are allowed to continue ruling beyond 2016, this country will be in a big mess. They have no plan for developing this country. They say one thing in their campaign promises but do the exact opposite to the poor Zambians. See how they have started killing poor Zambians, the people of Kampasa Village in Lusaka Province instead of protecting them. See how they suppress dissenting voices like they did to the people gathered in the BIGOCA Church in Matero, Lusaka or Father Bwalya who they poured Chibuku on. Acts of violence committed by PF too are too many to mention. Tomorrow, it could be you they will come to beat up, kill , grab land from and whose dissenting voice they will suppress by physical beatings. They do not care. PF nivimbalangondo who want to rule by instilling fear and suppressing violently any dissenting voice. For the sake of Zambia let us reject with unity the PF candidate.
Let us not continue rewarding failure by voting for the PF candidate. Let us with one voice act against PF for the sake of the province and for mother Zambia. We have an opportunity to stop this by-election nonsense. Let us act together mwa Umodzi Kum’mawa for Zambia. Let us say no to the PF candidate.