The Patriots for Economic Progress says it has noted with keen interest recent calls by leaders of the opposition UPND and NDC about the need for the opposition to field a single presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections next year.
Party President Sean Tembo says his party fully agrees with such a view, as they have always done.
Mr. Tembo says filing a single opposition candidate is the most sure way of removing President Lungu and his Patriotic Front party from office.
He, however, said that a change of Government by itself, just for the sake of changing Government, will not result in any positive change in the lives of the Zambian people as was the case in 2011 when Zambians replaced the MMD Government with the current PF Government which has proved to be even more disastrous.
“In other words, it is possible to vote out a bad government and replace it with a worse government, if the change of government is the only objective. What would improve the lives of the Zambian people is to remove the current PF Government and replace it with a better Government”, he said.
Mr Tembo said his party was founded on the basis that the Zambian people deserve a good government which will help this nation to convert its immense potential into actual wealth.
He said this commitment to give the Zambian people a good government is so strong in his party, that they are always willing to sacrifice political ambitions to instead support a presidential candidate from another political party, provided they are confident that such a candidate has potential to give the Zambian people a better government than the current PF Government.
Mr Tembo said this was the same principle on the basis of which his Party decided to join the Opposition Alliance, about 2 years ago.
“However, over the years and through close interaction with our fellow opposition leaders, we have come to the realization that none of our opposition peers actually posses the capacity nor appetite to form a better government that would uplift the wellbeing of the Zambian people. It is our considered view that none of our current opposition peers understand how to formulate and implement government policy, hence their failure to develop any Alternative National Budget or Alternative National Development Plan for the past two decades”, he added.
Mr Tembo said t it is folly for any citizen of Zambia to believe that a person whom, only a few months ago, as Minister of Information and Broadcasting, was harassing and closing down media houses, will tomorrow protect media freedom if made President.
Equally, Mr Tembo said it is folly for any citizen of Zambia to believe that a person whose close advisor and senior party official is a well-documented violent thug such as Tekere Banda, can bring about an end to political violence if elected as President tomorrow.
He added that equally, it is folly for any Zambian to believe that a person who has consistently failed to develop a coherent Alternative National Budget, despite severally attempting to do so, can tomorrow competently preside over the social-economic development of this country, if elected as Republican President.
“Additionally, it is folly for the Zambian people to believe that a political party that has consistently failed to sustainably manage City, Municipal and District Councils in their respective strongholds, can tomorrow suddenly develop competence to sustainably manage this nation”, he said.
Mr Tembo on the basis of the above, the Patriots for Economic Progress will always stand ready to support the idea of a single opposition candidate in the upcoming 2021 general election, provided we are confident that such a candidate has a demonstrable vision and competence to form a better government which would uplift the social-economic welfare of the Zambian people.
He said currently his party does not see any such candidate among opposition peers and on that basis that they do not intend to be complicit in ushering into office an experimental government that is likely to add to the tragedy of leadership deficit that this country has been bedeviled with already.