UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says his party has remained the strongest opposition political party in its 20 years of existence forgetting that at some point it was second to the PF, the party that went on to unseat the MMD. While this declaration is being made, Mr. Hichilema, at the same time, is busy with an opposition alliance knowing too well he has no message on his own and can only ride on numbers.
What is shocking, consequently, is not Mr. Hichilema’s embarrassing statement which implies that he has known for a while that his party has been far from being ready but this same inability to come up with a verifiable alternative development plan superior to the ambitious transformational agenda that the patriotic front government has continued to pursue in making Zambia, a prosperous middle income country by the year 2030.
While President Edgar Lungu is laying a strong foundation for a Zambia where every citizen has access to safe clean water, food, decent housing, electricity, quality education, health services and decent jobs with his heavy investment in infrastructure development, Mr. Hichilema is busy pointing at purported corruption deals. But voters in Samfya rural, in the meantime, can’t see that corruption but development they have never witnessed since Independence.
They no longer have to cover long distances to take the sick to the hospital. Roads are no longer graded annually but have been tarred. With the advent of solar powered street lights, what once used be dark streets at night, now remain lit. With improved infrastructure support, SMEs are identifying economic opportunities and are helping to address socio-economic challenges in the area.
Being ready to govern Zambia, consequently, is not a matter of making declarations but giving the nation confidence that the party is a government in waiting, offering seemingly better solutions to the real challenges that the nation is faced with. For instance, today when the nation is in total agreement that mines must be made to pay a fair share of their proceeds from our minerals, the UPND does not agree.
So then, who will speak for this nation in that vein if the UPND were to form government? You guessed right, not the UPND government. By this single act of siding with the mines, prioritising party interests over those of an ordinary Zambian, I can firmly conclude that the UPND is far from being ready to form government. National leadership is not childplay. Let the UPND concentrate its efforts on its alliance circus.
Mpandashalo Evans Mwewa
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