IT is unfair for former Patriotic Front (PF) leaders who have formed or joined other parties to continue blaming President Edgar Lungu for the current economic mess when they were part of the alleged bad decisions which PF made in the first three years in government, Forum For Democracy and Development (FDD) Copperbelt provincial chairman Yotam Mtayachalo has said.
He said it was shocking that those who were part of the bad decisions which PF made in the first three years were now claiming to be messiahs who wanted to take Zambia to the “Promised Land’.
Mr Mtayachalo said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the economic challenges the nation was going through were now being blamed on President Lungu when the genesis of the problems was the bad decisions of the PF in the first three years in Government.
“Bad or poor economic decisions which were made in the first three years of PF Government under President Michael Sata are the genesis of the problems we are facing today. It is unfair that some former PF leaders are now blaming President Lungu for the economic challenges the country is facing and are claiming to be messiahs who want to take Zambians to the promised land.
“During the three years of PF, there was no prudent management of public resources. It was as if manna had fallen from heaven. Road projects and other infrastructure development were embarked on in almost all the districts to give an impression that the Government was working. Most of them will soon become white elephants,” he said.
Mr Mtayachalo said new districts and some provincial capitals were created without being well thought out, but purely for political expedience as most of them did not have a budget.
“This has been very costly to the nation because of the absence of accommodation facilities in newly created districts and provincial capitals. Government officials are being accommodated in lodges and hotels. We also saw a sharp increase in the Government wage bill and other personal emoluments while at the same time Government revenue was reduced. It was purely politics of appeasement and the effects are being felt now,” he said.
Mr Mtayachalo appealed to President Lungu to be bold enough and tell Zambians that due to earlier wrong decisions in the first three years in government, he had to take radical measures to reverse the situation.
He said there was no need for President Lungu to continue pretending and hiding in collective responsibility because the impression being created among Zambians was that the economic crisis facing the country today, was due to his leadership.
Mr Mtayachalo said the President should take short, medium and long-term radical measures including diversification of the economy to arrest the rapid depreciation of the kwacha and put the country back on its economic track.
He said the PF Government inherited a very robust economy from former President Rupiah Banda because of his good economic management skills.