As Zambians look back at the last 12 months of the UPND in office, they should not lose sight of the party’s pronouncements while in the opposition and what it is claiming to be today. The UPND in opposition produced a 10-point economic blueprint about how the party would rapidly deal with and remedy all the economic malaise associated with the PF. The UPND leadership promised the voters economic emancipation and an improved standard of living.
In the area of good governance, the party promised to promote the rule of law, media freedom and an independent judiciary. The rule of law does not mean a reduction in cadre-perpetrated violence which vice had become systematic under the PF era. Instead, it means the promotion of civil liberties as guaranteed under our constitution. It also means protection against arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens by the State. It means the right to a fair trial before an impartial tribunal which is not at the beck and call of those in power.
However, even if one wanted to be charitable about the UPND’s economic performance in the last 12 months, its abject failure to manage the economy in the interest of the poor is glaring. The absolute faith manifested by the leadership in the long-awaited IMF bailout has exposed its incompetence. It is this manifest failure to tame the economy as promised which has made HH change his tone and flight plan.
On arrival in Kasama on Friday 12th August 2022, he was reported thanking the people in Northern Province for supporting UPND in last year’s election. He said it is their vote which has brought about peace and unity in the nation. It is often said that peace is not only the absence of war. The poor people in Northern Province and elsewhere around the country who constitute the majority of our population cannot be said to be living in peace when their bellies are empty. HH cannot point at any part of the country which is involved in ethnic communal conflicts where UPND has intervened to engender peace and unity as he claims.
This is a figment of his own imagination which is constructed to divert the people’s attention from the chronic hunger and misery afflicting them under UPND. He is deliberately trying to rebrand the pre-election UPND lies. It is Hannah Arendt said that “The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wish to hide.’’
The City TV incident in Kasama on 12th August 2022 where the District Commissioner believed with extreme pride that she was right to threaten the media personnel for exposing the lack of transparency in the recruitment of census enumerators is anathema to media freedom. Let’s wait and see what will happen to her from a party which prides itself in upholding media freedom.