CORNELIUS Mweetwa is not being honest not only with himself but the millions of Zambia who voted for the United Party for National Development (UPND) in the August 12, 2021 tripartite elections.
The overwhelming vote that President Hakainde Hichilema received was anchored on their promise to bring about positive change in the nation.
That change was to begin immediately that Mr Hichilema was declared winner, starting with the Kwacha gaining strength against the United States dollar.
There were of course other promises that the price of mealie meal would be reduced to at least K50, in addition to cheaper fuel.
Zambians are therefore surprised that Mr Mweetwa, who is UPND spokesperson and Southern Province Minister, while admitting that they voted for change, they should not expect the changes to be immediate.
Mr Mweetwa was quoted in our edition yesterday as saying that Zambians voted for change in the August 2021 general elections but they should not be expecting that the change should be instant.
We do not think Mr Mweetwa has endeared himself with the expectant voters who put their trust in the UPND as a vehicle that would drive them to prosperity.
Speaking on Radio Phoenix Let the People Talk Programme on Tuesday, Mr Mweetwa said the promises of cheaper mealie meal and fuel were being implemented but that the high cost of living was being influenced by external factors which could not be blamed on the UPND.
He said mealie meal prices would only be reduced if local production costs were reduced and that it was his hope that sooner rather than later, Zambians would start smiling because things shall be much better, cheaper and easier.
If anything, Mr Mweetwa has actually proved true the general perception people have about politicians that they speak with forked tongues – never the truth.
For if indeed they were speaking the truth, the crisis that the country has faced in the health and agriculture sector would not be there. The people were promised improved services.
Government hospitals have since the new dawn administration assumed office been in the “intensive care unit,” operating without basic medicines.
The Minister of Health, Ms Sylvia Masebo has continued to defy logic that there is a crisis in the health sector even when the experts – doctors – on the ground bemoan the crippling shortage of medicines.
In the agriculture sector, the distribution of farming inputs under the Farmers Input Support Programme has been in shambles as the government “sought” to streamline the procurement chain.
In the process, some suppliers, like in the health sector, were removed on suspicion that they had links with the former Patriotic Front regime.
Government abandoned the transparent open tender system and ended up single-sourcing companies to supply fertiliser and the results are there for all to see.
Ironically, Mr Mweetwa claimed that Zambians were not suffering and that citizens were much better than they were during the PF reign in government.
He said they should sacrifice for just a little longer than now as President Hichilema was working at addressing and correcting the economic chaos left by the PF.
And that, according to Mr Mweetwa should not be immediate, but long-term.