[By Chambwa Moonga in Mongu]
HARRY Kalaba says Western Province like the rest of Zambia should rise up and say no to the PF government in next year’s general elections.
Meanwhile, Kalaba, who is the opposition Democratic Party (DP) president, says it is impossible to talk about tribal politics in the multilingual Western Province.
He was speaking on a special interview programme on Oblate Liseli Radio in Mongu on Thursday evening.
Kalaba regretted that people in Zambia were today dying from diseases they ought not to die from.
“Go to Lewanika Hospital today; the drugs are not there…The problem we have is that our leaders are not interested in ensuring that Lewanika Hospital gets what it should get because when they get sick, they are the first ones to go to South Africa. When we form government next year, we are going to stop this thing of leaders going to South Africa for treatment,” Kalaba said. “Leaders will be treated here in Western Province. So, Zambians this is your moment to stand up and choose a leadership next year that is going to feel your pain. Let us rise up, Western Province, next year and say ‘no more PF, we are working with Harry Kalaba.’”
He also asserted that politicians have preached enough tribalism in the country.
“But thank God, here in Western Province they don’t tolerate tribal politics because out of the 72 ethnic tribes in Zambia, about 38 ethnic tribes are coming from Western Province,” Kalaba observed. “So, it is impossible here to talk of tribal politics. In Western Province everybody who brings developmental politics will be listened to. The DP is not interested in tribal politics!”
He also said, “COVID-19 has come and we need to co-exist with it.”
“While we are fighting COVID-19, people need to eat. This same COVID-19 [fight] is lacking transparency because they (government officials) are telling us about the cases but they are not telling us how much people are donating. So, we want the [update on the] cases to be going in tandem with the donations that people are making. We want to see face-masks being given,” Kalaba said.
On the K10 billion business stimulus package that has been set aside by the Bank of Zambia, Kalaba indicated that such monies are desperately needed by grassroots business people such as marketeers.
“That money should first of all start from here because there is a market (Mongu main) which has been burnt – somebody is suffering. Once you help those whose properties were burnt, then you can begin to help the marketeers themselves. The stimulus package should be helping people growing rice here in Mongu but that is not happening,” Kalaba explained. “[Instead] that stimulus package is for those people who are putting security cameras on the roads. The ordinary people of Zambia are not going to benefit from that stimulus package. It is those connected to the PF who will benefit from that money – it won’t reach the intended purpose.”
He also pledged that a DP government would take keen interest in ensuring that the dignity of freedom fighters was restored.