Opposition political parties should not mislead traditional leaders into believing that they will improve their living standards and address their welfare when they are voted into office, former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Newstead Zimba has said
Mr Zimba said the opposition should be honest in their campaigns about their promises to the traditional leaders.
Speaking in an interview in Lusaka, Mr Zimba said it was important for chiefs to be wary of such opposition leaders as they had nothing to offer traditional leadership.
“Government has created the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to take care of their problems and improve their status in the community all over the country. So, they should not mislead the chiefs. Chiefs should not be misled by the opposition.
“The chiefs must understand that government created the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to address their problems. They should not be misled by anybody,” he said.
Mr Zimba said it was the first time, since independence, that a government had created a ministry specifically responsible for traditional leaders.
He also said the Patriotic Front (PF) government has done a lot in the last three years in other sectors such as education and construction and that it could not be compared to any other government.
“PF is already in government implementing programmes supported by the budget for next year. What they (PF) have done has not been by any other government that ruled this country. You have universities emerging, you have stadiums and sporting facilities emerging everywhere and you have roads all over the country,” he said.
Mr Zimba said the PF government has done extremely well by constructing more secondary schools across the country.
“So, when people are promising this and that, what budget are they looking at? A presidential by-election must be treated as such because we are meant to replace a leader to continue with programme of development, and PF is already on the ground,” he said.
Mr Zimba, however, said the opposition were free to make campaign promises but they should not make unsubstantiated allegations.
He said people should support PF and vote party president Edgar Lungu in honour of the late President Michael Sata, adding that developmental programmes initiated by the PF were beneficial to the people.
“We are not saying that they can’t talk. They are free to talk, they are free to believe and they are free to create lies. At the same time there is nobody who can come and say that PF is corrupt. These are useless propaganda,” he said.