PATRIOTIC Front Petauke district ‘die-hard’ member Moses Katongo Mutale says President Edgar Lungu’s statement that those not happy with his actions can go wherever they want is disappointing and destructive to the PF. And Mutale says President Lungu was being misled by his aides who are preparing his downfall.
In a press statement, Mutale said President Lungu was disappointing party members with his “unwise decisions”.
“We are very disappointed with his comment to say those that are not happy with him can go wherever they want. That statement is so bad and so destructive to the party. How can you start chasing people from the party who put you where you are like that? We are not happy, Mr President, with that statement,” Mutale stated.
He explained that the President was being misled by his aides who were also preparing for his downfall without him realising.
“He said he could not run short of people to appoint and that he appoints those that are loyal to him. Now he doesn’t know that those he thinks are loyal are just there to milk him, are there to suck him. All they are interested in is money and not good service. It’s the same people like the Kaizar Zulu that are destroying him and once President Lungu leaves office, all those will run away and he will be alone because he has no time to listen to views of the people on the ground,”
He also pointed out that President Lungu’s appointments were not fair to the PF because the party had “credible people like Kanyama member of parliament Elizabeth Phiri, Frank Bwalya, Mumbi Phiri and others” who had been there for a long time and not the MMD members he was appointing. Mutale likened the President to a child whose parents had supported him to get educated “but when he starts work, heabandons his relatives and starts supporting his neighbour’s family”.
He said the PF’s coming to government had nothing to do with MMD support because by then, the party had stood on its own and that “ngwangwazis (call boys)” were the ones that fought for PF victory.
Mutale recalled that MMD in government tortured PF members in a terrible way. He said when Dora Siliya was education minister in the MMD government, she one time tortured PF members at Mulungushi by commanding that all mattresses be removed and water disconnected. Mutale said he was surprised that Siliya was one of the MMD members given a ministerial position in the PF government.
“The President is forgetting that it’s committed PF members who put him where he is but now he is telling them to go wherever they want…it’s so bad and disappointing indeed. He is trusting people whom he doesn’t know, people who never suffered for the party, just because he has very wrong advisors…he is wrong to listen and implement even wrong advice,”
Mutale, the PF district secretary in Petauke between 2008 and 2016, observed that if no quick action was taken, the PF could die.
“If nothing serious is done to mend the mistakes, these are early dying signs of the PF and I don’t think this party can be returned to its original status that [Michael] Sata left and the embracing of strangers will truly cost this party,” he said.
Mutale said PF was lacking people who could tell President Lungu the truth that things were not okay in the nation. He said members on the ground heard a lot of people’s complaints over the government’s failure but were being ignored.
“We are lacking people who can tell him (Lungu) that ‘this is wrong and if you do it, you do that at your own risk’. Lungu is now surrounded by ma ‘inde bwana, inde bwana’ and it’s the same ‘inde bwanas’ that are destroying his image such that they are also planning for his downfall…,” Mutale said.
He said the recent resignation of Harry Kalaba as foreign affairs minister had nothing to do with disloyalty but that President Lungu was making Kalaba work hard by surrounding him with strangers.
“In football, you play well when you have been put together with people you trained with, but Kalaba was put with strangers, people who don’t understand what PF manifesto is. No, Kalaba is right,” said Mutale who further complained that since the PF took office in 2011, genuine party members had not benefited anything while ‘strangers’ were benefiting highly.