Response by NAREP to George Chellah-State House Special Assistant for Press
GEORGE’S PARALLEL UNIVERSE
NAREP’S RESPONSE TO THE STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF STATE HOUSE
Mr. George Chellah has issued a response to the press statement issued by the NAREP President, Elias Chipimo Jnr. on Thursday 10 January 2013. Mr. Chellah’s statement continues the trend of nearly all his previous statements. It appears to have been written in angry haste.
He has asked President Chipimo to “pinpoint where the PF Government has failed, and provide alternative grounded options rather than spend time in a day-dreaming or theoretical session about what he wishes to happen”.
Here is what we asked for in our press statement:
- Opportunity for our youth to flourish in decent work and enterprise
- Our women to be protected from violence and discrimination
- Government to work with traditional leaders to empower rural communities
- Government to apply public order laws in a non-discriminatory manner
- Running water in homes
- Homes connected to a stable supply of electricity
- Our ministers not to fly abroad for treatment when they have neglected the health institutions at home
- The PF to concentrate more on promoting development than seeking political domination
Mr. Chellah’s statement sheds an enormous amount of light on why we are not seeing development for our people under the PF. He believes that these requests are “day-dreaming and theoretical”!
Had Mr. Chellah read the NAREP press statement more carefully, he would have noted that we have not said the PF has failed. We in fact point out that it is not our desire to see the PF fail because if they do, it is the people who will suffer. Our statement accuses the PF of placing priority on triggering by-elections and harassing its political opponents at the expense of prioritising development. We stand by this statement.
While we believe that it is important to prosecute those that have committed crimes involving abuse of office, we are in no doubt that the attempted prosecutions against the certain members of the Opposition has not been consistent with a genuine fight against corruption. We have evidence that the type of things Dr. Nevers Mumba is being accused of having done are flourishing under the PF administration and it is for this reason that we see the recent arrest of Dr. Mumba as being politically motivated. We shall make this information available to the public at the appropriate time.
We pointed out in our statement that the country is in a crisis due to: high mealie-meal prices, continued and preventable daily deaths at clinics and health institutions around the country, continued load-shedding, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, massive formal unemployment, laying off of workers because of the hasty introduction of laws and regulations without adequate consultation, defilement and sexual exploitation of our young women.
However, since Mr. Chellah has asked us to identify the PF failures (and he would do well to remember the saying: be careful what you wish for), we present a summary of some (not all) of the promises that were made by the PF:
- Demolition of shanty towns and the building of better planned houses in 90 days
- When PF comes into power there will be no load-shedding
- There will be no abuse of the public media
- PF will do away with the Public Order Act (because it’s a colonial law)
- PF will create employment for the youths
- There will be better sanitation for everyone (46 years of independence Zambians cannot be using pit latrines)
- Cholera will be a thing of the past
- PF will reduce the size of Cabinet
- PF will increase bags of fertilizer for our farmers
- PF will deliver a people-driven constitution within 90 days
- Enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill
- Imposition of windfall tax on mining companies
We think that if Mr. Chellah sincerely wishes to talk about lies and deceit, we can start with the list above and engage in a sensible dialogue about how we can constructively move forward on each of these matters.
We intend over the next ten weeks, to highlight each of these promises and other areas of poor governance (one a week) and to provide details of the PF’s failures in the specific sectors related to these promises and to other areas of political, economic and social development. We shall commence with the mealie-meal crisis. We will also set out NAREP’s proposals on the way forward once we have demonstrated the failures. To be fair and balanced, we will also point out the things PF is doing well and where it has succeeded. Perhaps after more public discussion on these issues it may become a little clearer as to which of us is living in a parallel universe.