THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has exhibited “obscene appetite” to get into power by twisting statement from President Edgar Lungu and his Government officials in their futile attempt to make Zambians rise against the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, Given Lubinda has said.
Mr Lubinda said UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and some of his members of Parliament such as Request Muntanga had perfected the art of twisting innocent statements from Government with the aim of gaining cheap political mileage.
Mr Lubinda who is Agriculture Minister chastised Mr Muntanga for insinuating that there had been inconsistencies from President Lungu, the Vice-President Ingonge Wina and the Ministry of Agriculture on the food security of the country.
He told the Daily Nation that President Lungu through his special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda explained with lucidity the three options Government was considering to avert famine in the country but that the UPND leadership had decided to deliberately misinterpret the statement to mislead Zambians.
Mr Lubinda said President Lungu had made it clear that Government was considering growing irrigated maize as the first option and that the second option was for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to mop up all the maize held by the private sector.
He said the importation of maize from South America was only the last option because Zambia still had 1 282 797 metric tonnes of maize which would be able to see the country into the 2015/2016 harvest period.
Mr Lubinda said Vice-President Inonge Wina has consistently been talking about the same things President Lungu had been talking about on the possibility to import maize if the country was going to experience crop failure as a result of the dry spells, floods or the crop being attacked by worms.
“Mr Muntanga has joined his president Mr Hichilema in mastering the art of reading what they want to hear and not what is factually written. They seem to be perfecting the art of twisting what others say and this is extremely dangerous for people aspiring to take over the governance of the country. The PF Government under President Lungu has been most consistent and at no time did Ministers, the Vice-President and President Lungu contradict each other. President Lungu through his special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda has with lucidity explained the three options Government is considering to avert starvation in the country after a thorough assessment of the farming season,” Mr Lubinda said. Mr Lubinda said while Mr Muntanga and his leader, Mr Hichilema were praying for starvation in the country to gain cheap political mileage, President Lungu was praying that Zambians should be food secure so that people like those in the UPND leadership could have enough food and water to feed their livestock and families.
Mr Lubinda said he would only accept to resign as Minister of Agriculture if Mr Muntanga was going to pledge that the UPND was not going to contest the August general elections if the PF Government was going to ensure that Zambia was food secure.