“WHY do politicians lie a lot?” is a question I once asked my Political Science lecturer and his blunt response was politicians lie a lot because lies are often the most expedient route to achieving their ends.
During the just ended election campaign trails, the United Party for National Development (UPND) and its President and now Republican President Mr. Hakainde HIchilema tried to be all things to the voters and they talked up their promises a little too much.
They literally promised heaven on Earth where no single Zambian would go to bed hungry.
President Hichilema and the UPND made a lot of promises among them free education from grade one to university and selling of the Presidential jet but it is the latter that is currently a matter of public debate after President Hichilema decided not to use the Gulf Stream or Presidential Jet when travelling to the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly, he instead will use commercial flights.
The UPND while in opposition strongly insisted that they will sell the Gulf Stream despite being advised by the former Government that the jet was classified as military equipment.
In trying to put this matter to bed, on January 4, this year, the Zambia Airforce issued a statement to the public and clarified that the Gulfstream G-650 aircraft could not be sold and doing so would be against the laws that govern the Air Force as a defence entity but the UPND still insisted that they would sell it.
So, here we are, the UPND are now in Government and reality has visited them and they have realised that the Gulfstream cannot be sold but what is surprising is that its spokesperson and Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa is making contradictory statements regarding the government position regarding the sale of the presidential jet.
At one point, Mr Mweetwa said confidently that the UPND Government will not sell the presidential jet because it is classified as a military equipment.
It didn’t take longer than 24 hours before Mr Mweetwa flip-flopped on his earlier statement and issued another statement that the matter of selling the Gulf stream was under consultations and considerations between Cabinet and other Government wings.
The contradictory statements coming from the Mr Mweetwa, the UPND spokesperson are a result of trying to spin an entirely fabricated promise instead of admitting that they made a fake promise which they cannot fulfill.
Another promise the UPND are trying to add a spin to is the promise of free education from grade one to university. This promise is also one the UPND will not manage to deliver.
Currently in Zambia, we have what we can call free education from grade one to seven but the UPND during the campaigns promised to take it up to university. This excited voters and I have no doubt that it is one of the promises that made people vote for the UPND.
Again reality has visited the UPND and they have realised that their promise can’t be delivered and the President when giving his maiden speech in Parliament added a spin to his free education promise by telling Zambians that his new dawn Government will deliver what he called “quality education” sidestepping using word play his earlier on promise of free education up to university.
I think for the sake of moving forward whilst looking forward, the UPND Government should apologise to the people for promising them what they can’t deliver. Zambians are forgiving people and I believe that once the new dawn Government and President Hichilema humble themselves and ask for forgiveness for making impossible promises, Zambians will forgive, forget and move on because they now understand that the UPND made the promises whilst in opposition when they didn’t understand how the state machinery functions.