Speaking on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview, Chikwanda said that the Patriotic Front had done better than any administration in the history of the country by championing large-scale developmental programs.
Former Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says the Patriotic Front has done enough to freely seek a fresh term in 2021. And Chikwanda says that the much-hyped political dialogue should not be about some politicians wanting to enhance their political chances but national issues.
“In the seven years of the Patriotic Front government, we have done more than any other administration, even when our financial situation is not glamorous there is some major things happening. Of course, we can do more,” he said.
He added: “The people of Zambia are better off with the PF because they are transforming the country. Of course, poverty is a challenge but PF does not have the magic wand to abolish poverty, it is a long-term process and the PF has done well on that basis. They will have a moral right to go back to the people and seek a fresh mandate.”
He said that the PF should not just relax but work to better their record by 2021. On the national dialogue, Chikwanda said that the dialogue should tackle serious national issues and not be a political talk shop.
“I hope the dialogue process is not going to be a political parties wanting to brighten their chances of winning an election but focus on major issues. We have a culture of glamourizing slogans in the country,” he said.
“I think dialogue should not be about political schemes, gimmicks, we must think deep, we need to raise the intellectual input into our country.” The PF Central Committee member said that people who talked loudest about corruption were themselves guilty of the vice.
“The people that talk about corruption think about ministers and yet corruption is more intense in the civil service,” he said. “Some of the people throwing stones are high priests of corruption themselves. They live in glass houses and have to be restrained.”
He said that the civil service was characterized by a poor working culture but drained more than 50% of the annual budget from emoluments. Chikwanda also re-affirmed the allegation that President Michael Sata was tricked into reading a different speech by his aides on his last address to parliament before he died.
“Mr Sata (Michael) asked me to keep his copy but they substituted it and instead gave him that bulky speech. Unfortunately, he just started making off tangent jokes,” he said. “The Presidency is very vulnerable in Zambia,”
Chikwanda also critiqued the electoral system that he said was fundamentally rooted in corruption. He cited the huge requirement of money whenever candidates were battling to win an election as was the case in Chilanga.
“Our electoral system is anchored on corruption, candidates need a lot of money to win an election. We have to change that,” he said. Chikwanda also heaped praise on President Edgar Lungu for having held the PF together in the aftermath of the Sata rein.
“I think Edgar Lungu has done very well, he has held the party together, I sit in the Central Committee and there are no factions. It shows that we were right to put President Lungu in office after the death of President Michael Sata,” he said.
Chikwanda parried away accusations that the borrowing that the PF government is accused of retrogressive but said that they borrowing for capital expenditure and not current.
Source: Zambian Observer