Readiness to govern by a political party must be on day one and excuses under the banner of “coffers are empty” must not be entertained.
United Progressive People (UPP) president Saviour Chishimba said most parties that ascended to power blamed their predecessors for their woes.
Mr Chishimba said when the MMD took over power from UNIP, they spent the first term blaming UNIP for empty coffers and a weak Kwacha.
He said the new government simply waged war against UNIP and the citizens were cheerleaders and whoever criticised the MMD was viewed by the people as an enemy of the new found democracy.
Mr Chishimba said the MMD embarked on an IMF/World Bank supported structural adjustment programme and during that period, national assets were stripped in the guise of privatisation which went on unabated.
‘’A few became millionaires overnight and millions of dollars were wired to offshore accounts – these funds have not been returned to the owners, the people of Zambia. When UPP launched the #Bring Back Our Money anti-corruption campaign in 2016, state operatives broke into my house and later our offices,’’ he said.
Mr Chishimba said in 2011, the PF adopted the same approach of blaming the MMD for corruption, among other scandals.
‘’Whoever attempted to alert the citizens on corruption and the constitutional breaches which started on day one, was brutalised and citizens were the first to defend the PF by branding critics as bitter.
He said today, the same culture had continued with the new government claiming demonising their predecessors with an “empty treasury” rhetoric and whoever spoke out on observations was viewed as an abuser of the new freedom of speech and it’s the citizens who were even calling for police action against whoever spoke out on issues.
Mr Chishimba said when expectations were not met the same citizens would start looking for who to speak for them.
‘’Alternative policies of opposition political parties are based on the full knowledge of the prevailing situation in the country.
He said the electoral promises were predicted on how the party would apply itself in generating revenues rather how the party would spend the money it would find in the treasury.
BY ADRIAN MWANZA