Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube has asked President Edgar Lungu to halt investigations against his political rival Hakainde Hichilema saying the recent ZAFFICO riots are just a tip of the iceberg of the frustrations which Zambians are bottling up.
In a statement issued on Sunday, KBF noted that there was a general disgruntlement among citizens over the manner in which the nation was going.
“It is my sincere hope that government is aware that the recent ZAFFICO riots are just a tip of the iceberg of the many bottled-up frustrations simmering in a growing majority of Zambians. Having observed an escalation in tensions building towards Wednesday 14 th November 2018, I am persuaded to appeal to each one of us to introspect. It will be folly for us as a people to ignore the current social and economic distress sweeping across the nation. We must realize that what affects one of us affects all of us without choosing one’s tribe, gender, vocation or political affiliation,” KBF stated.
“Unless some of our politicians have become so detached from reality and from the people of Zambia, any Zambian politician worth his salt is aware that there is growing disgruntlement and disappointment among Zambians over the state of affairs of our nation. The hard truth is that our citizens in general are unhappy and frustrated about the management and direction of the country. Some people might hope that this is unique to urban areas only. Unfortunately, our people in rural areas are equally expressing the same sentiments of frustration and disappointment. What is worth noting is the fact that this is a national issue and my appeal is that we put cheap politics aside and treat it as such.”
He listed some of the things Zambians were frustrated about.
“From the broad spectrum of Zambians that I have had a chance to interact with, the following issues form the core of what is afflicting and agitating the Zambian people in general: Unemployment is too high and is the major reason for the high poverty levels being experienced in the country, our economy has too many burdensome policies for the citizens. There is a general feeling that government is contracting huge debt for non-priority construction projects at seriously inflated prices and passing the burden to citizens. When government is calling for belt tightening amongst the citizens and civil servants, there is absolutely no evidence that senior government officials holding political offices are tightening their belts.
Citizens are bottling up frustrations as they are being denied their critical rights of assembly and freedom of expression. Good governance and rule of law in the country is deteriorating.
Agricultural performance has been dangerously poor and consistently negatively affected citizens in the rural areas,” KBF stated.
“There is a consistent and constant failure by government to communicate national issues effectively to avoid unnecessary suspicions. There is a strong perception that our President has been held hostage by a small group of self-serving individuals. Citizens believe the President is not fully aware of the true state of the nation. If as the ruling party, we don’t sober up and get to the bottom of these and many other issues of concern, shifting the blame will not make the situation any better. We can harass or arrest all those with opposing views, but without addressing the real issues, we will only succeed at mobilizing the Zambian people against President Lungu and the PF Party as a whole. I hereby call on the PF Party and government to make a clear distinction between politics of intimidation and good governance. We, as PF are the ruling party and are entirely responsible for the state and direction of this nation. All other politicians, disgruntled elements and opposition political parties can be excused for their rumbling and political gymnastics. For us on the other hand, our actions and decisions affect every citizen regardless of their political affiliations. When the economy is not doing well, it is our responsibility to rectify the situation.”
KBF asked President Lungu, therefore, to halt investigations against Hichilema.
“We only have one Zambia and if we do not guard against her destruction the country we know and the great future it holds will cease to be. Whatever our challenges and frustrations, I ask all the people of Zambia to believe me when I say the solutions to our problems lie within us. The solutions are there. To this end, I humbly appeal to my President His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, as commander in chief, to in the interest of the nation, halt the planned investigations against the UPND President,” he stated.
“I believe that if we destroy each other and destroy the country, it will be that much harder to recover as a nation. Let us immediately begin to make all things about Zambia and not about the political parties to which we belong. Let us move away from blaming each other and move towards consulting and correcting each other.”
And KBF stated that the current opposition had failed to show citizens that they have better programmes for the country.
“It is a known fact that the current opposition has failed to demonstrate to Zambians that they have better programs for this country. The people of Zambia are therefore still looking to the party that promised lower taxes and more money in their pockets. It is not too late to steer the boat towards the shores of prosperity,” stated KBF.