CHIEF Government Spokesperson Cornellius Mweetwa has missed the whole point of the press conference that was held by the opposition parties in Lusaka yesterday.
We are disappointed that Mr Mweetwa failed to address the issues that the opposition parties raised, but chose to describe them as being power hungry.
The opposition alliance was not about the past, but the future about which they raised pertinent points that are worrying Zambians going forward.
Zambians are concerned about what the future holds when the three arms of government connive and allow the law to be abused with impunity.
They are concerned about the country’s stability when the government machinery allows the buffoonery being committed by Miles Sampa of installing himself as Patriotic Front president and the repercussions that might follow when sanity returns to the Judiciary.
For example in the Kabushi and Kwacha by-elections, everyone knows the elections were stolen from the Patriotic Front but Constitutional endorses them.
In the by-elections being held now, candidates of the Patriotic Front under Mr Edgar Lungu are being rejected in preference to those of Mr Sampa by the Electoral Commission of Zambia even when the case involving the party’s leadership is in court. This is anarchy.
Equally alarming is the decree from the Inspector General of Police, Mr Graphael Musamba banning the opposition parties from holding public rallies to mobilise their members.
Yet, it is common knowledge that freedom of association and expression are the hallmarks of democracy that should never be interfered with.
As we have said before, it is wrong for Mr Musamba to want to dictate to political parties how they should operate and what they must say.
It is even more frightening that he thinks the opposition parties are supported by junkies who will only cause trouble during public rallies.
These, we feel, are the major areas of concern that compelled the opposition parties to come together and form an alliance to work together.
The alliance has brought together about eight political parties – the Patriotic Front Citizens First, National Democratic Congress, New Heritage Party, United Liberal Party (ULP), the Forum for Democratic Congress the Golden Party of Zambia and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Speaking on behalf of the alliance, ULP president Sakwiba Sikota SC said it was time to gather together with all people of goodwill to discuss and find solutions to the many challenges the country was facing.
Mr Sikota said challenges for which the opposition political parties have formed the alliance included shrinking democratic space, corruption, shortage of mealie meal, high cost of fuel, unprecedented rise in the cost of living, chaotic management of the health sector and failure to manage the cholera outbreak since October last year; Collapsed health sector.
Thus, Mr Mweetwa, who is also the minister of Information and Media failed to respond to the concerns raised by the opposition parties.
He instead chose to use superlatives to refer to individuals in the alliance, describing them as being evil. This is cheap and ad hominem.
The issue of the country’s debt is not about who contracted it but the measures that the government is taking in tackling the problem and their effects on the ordinary Zambians.
Moreover, it is common knowledge that the global Covid-19 pandemic saw the economies in many countries collapse as it affected international trade and disrupted supply chains leading to not only a hike in food prices but oil as well.
There is hunger and disillusionment in the nation and these are issues Mr Mweetwa should have addressed.