By Sean Tembo
1. As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we have noted the manifesto that was launched by the ruling Patriotic Front Party this week. Our view is that the sudden unveiling of a manifesto by the PF is an act of desperation that is designed to misled naive voters.
As a ruling party, the PF is not entitled to make grandiose promises to Zambians of what it will do in future, through a manifesto. Given the fact that the ruling PF have had the instruments of power for the past 10 years, they should concentrate on explaining to Zambians why they have failed to deliver in this period, and it is up to Zambians to decide whether to accept such explanations or not.
2. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we wish to challenge President Lungu to explain to the nation why more Zambians are sleeping hungry today than in 2011 when the PF took over the instruments of power.
The President should further explain to Zambians why the country has contracted more than US$20 billon in external and domestic debt in the past 10 years, and yet the total value of infrastructure built over the same period is less than US$5 billion? President Lungu should further explain to Zambians why only businesses owned by PF ministers and senior officials are booming while the rest of the economy is in a steep decline? The President should also explain to the nation why, during his tenure of office, members of his PF party have become so lawless to the extent that they can walk into a police station, beat up police officers and walk scot free with only a slap on the hand?
3. It is only after President Lungu has answered the above questions to the satisfaction of the citizens of this Republic that we can begin to discuss his new set of grandiose promises contained in the PF manifesto that was launched this week.
4. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we are confident that the amount of hunger and anger which the Zambian people are suffering from today cannot be quenched with a set of empty promises in the PF manifesto. The Zambian people were gracious enough to give President Lungu a mandate to manage the affairs of the nation in 2015. The following year in 2016, his mandate was renewed because the period was too short to properly assess whether the President and his PF party had delivered or not.
Five years later, the period is now adequate for Zambians to see clearly that President Lungu is not equal to the task of properly managing the affairs of this Republic, and must therefore be retired in the national interest. The President failed to grow the economy. The President failed create jobs for Zambians. The President failed to protect Zambians from the perpetual harassment of his party members. The President has embarrassed the nation to our regional peers by over borrowing and then defaulting without shame.
There is literally nothing which President Lungu can claim that he will do in the next five years which he failed to do in the past 6 years. At this point, instead of making fresh attempts to hoodwink Zambians using a shallow PF manifesto, President Lungu is supposed to be apologizing to the citizens for his evidently failed leadership over the past 6 years. No Zambian has any energy left to start perusing through another set of empty PF promises contained in the PF manifesto at this point. The only energy which Zambians are left with is for casting their vote on 12th August in order to retire President Lungu and his PF party so that we can turn a new page in the journey of our beloved nation.