By Nation Reporter
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s initiative of empowering marketeers is the battle between the majority poor the Patriotic Front (PF) is supporting and the rich the United Party for National Development (UPND) is protecting, Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe has charged.
Mr Kabwe has urged the majority Zambians who are poor to rise and defend President Lungu by ensuring that the Head of State was re-elected in the August general elections.
Mr Kabwe said it had become clear that the rich through the UPND had ganged up and risen against the poor Zambians and that was why the opposition political party was advancing policies that would make citizens poorer.
He said in an interview that the rich in the UPND had opposed every pro-poor policy President Lungu and the PF had been implementing such as the cash social transfer and village banking because their desire was to make the lives of Zambians miserable.
Mr Kabwe accused the UPND on embarking an economic sabotage of buying up commodities on the market to create an artificial shortage of basic needs such as mealie meal so that Zambians could rise against the PF and President Lungu.
He said Zambians should be wary of the policies of the UPND which he said were dangerous for the social and economic growth of citizens.
“As we go to the general elections in August, the battle is between the rich and the poor. The PF and President Lungu are pro-poor but the UPND and its allies have ganged up and risen against the majority of Zambians who are poor. The UPND which has now become a political organisation of the rich has been opposing every pro-poor policy the PF has been implementing. They have been campaigning against the social cash transfer and village banking because they want to abuse the poor. The poor must rise and defend President Lungu by ensuring that his mandate to govern is renewed in August,” Mr Kabwe said.
Mr Kabwe said the violence that had characterised the political scene in the recent past was being sponsored and that the poor were often the victims while the rich were enjoying in the comfort of their homes and offices.
He said violence often affected small businesses such as traders in markets and that many a time, markets had been forced to close because of the vice and the poor men and women could not make the money they should have.
Mr Kabwe said the UPND was preaching that they would build more shopping malls across the country and that such trading places would be too expensive for poor Zambians.
And Marketeers and Vendors Association president Abel Chikwa said he was disappointed with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema for inciting marketeers not to pay back the simple loans Government was giving.
Mr Chikwa said the loans being given to marketers were meant to be a revolving fund and it was worrying that the UPND was advocating that the scheme should fail so that many other women could not have access to the loans.
“President Lungu is one of us and recognises the marketeers with their birth certificates. The UPND has been mocking us that we do not possess any qualification apart from our birth certificates and they want us to vote for them. We are going to support President Lungu. The UPND and Mr Hichilema can say whatever they want but we as marketeers, we are going to vote for President Lungu,” Mr Chikwa said.