PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s Cabinet is either moribund or is injudiciously “unresponsive” as they have remained suspiciously silent, in the face of serious challenges to Government policy, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has observed.
The President, he said, had remained as the lone voice on numerous national challenges including defending Government actions as well as policies while most of his ministers kept quiet even where the matters fell within their portfolios.
He cited the recent Gunvor contaminated oil debacle as a matter that should be explained to the nation and yet there was absolute silence. “What are people supposed to make of this?”
Mr Changala said President Lungu should take it upon himself and address the nation on all critical issues of national concern because his Cabinet had allegedly abandoned him as most of the ministers were not defending Government policies and action.
Mr Changala said there had been so much misinformation from people who were not in Government and that ‘‘political vultures’’ had taken advantage to fill the void that had been created by the silence of Cabinet Ministers and senior Patriotic Front (PF) leaders.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that although President Lungu was politically a likeable leader, he was not getting the support from his lieutenants who were expected to give guidance on the state of affairs on the country.
Mr Changala said Zambia was under siege from political vultures who, he said, were agitating for an uprising against President Lungu and his Government.
“This country is facing serious challenges politically, economically and socially and yet we are having no guidance or statements from Cabinet Ministers on the state of the economy. We have no insight on what exactly is happening in the energy sector and yet there is a lot of misinformation from people who are not in Government and Cabinet ministers have remained mute. “
Mr. Changala added “When late president Michael Sata said some of his Ministers were useless, he could have had a point. Political vultures have taken advantage of the silence and are filling in the void and my call is that President Lungu must wake up and realise that his Cabinet is not with him and if it is, then it has gone into hiding for some reason. The President must address the nation on all critical issues affecting the country because we need a full statement on the state of the economy,” he said.
Mr Changala said President Lungu should rise and govern the country in a manner that would pull all citizens in one direction irrespective of their political ideologies.
He said Zambians should not continue to be governed in darkness without ministers and the leadership of the ruling party guiding the nation through the manifesto from which they were given the mandate to preside over the affairs of the country.
Mr Changala charged that Zesco management had become incompetent and called on the Head of State to have dialogue with all stakeholders including the opposition political parties and the civil society organisations in searching for solutions to the country’s economic malaise.
He said while it was agreeable that load shedding was necessary as a result of natural causes such as low water levels, the power cuts should not be conducted in what he termed haphazard manner.
He said the continued load shedding had paralysed commercial industry and manufacturing and that it was important to find a reasonable approach to the management of load shedding.
Mr Changala challenged the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to take the lead in correcting the economic challenges the country was facing.
“Both Government and the PF are barely surviving and one wonders whether the men and women who were eager to defend the Government and its policies have defected. There is so much misinformation and no one is responding. President Lungu must meet all stakeholders including the church, political parties, the civil society and get consensus on issues such as the Constitution-making process,” Mr Changala said.