…but says she’s not desperate for a pact with PF or UPND
By Nation Reporter
THE Patriotic Front (PF) would be the best political party to form an alliance with because the mandate of President Edgar Lungu would be expiring in the next five years if he won the August 11 Presidential election, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Edith Nawakwi has said.
And Ms Nawakwi has branded the United Party for National Development (UPND) as a chauvinist political organisation after the opposition party claimed that the FDD was a party representing women.
Ms Nawakwi said she should would have easily formed an alliance with either UPND or the PF but stated that the ruling party would be the best alternative considering that President Lungu would not be running for the presidency after the expiry of his mandate if he won the August 11.
She explained that this was because an alliance with PF would entail an opposition leader becoming the next President when Mr Lungu’s term expired in 2021.
Although Mr Lungu will only be in office for less than two years to complete President Michael Sata’s five-year term, he cannot contest elections beyond 2021 if he won this year’s August Presidential election.
The Constitution of Zambia prescribes a five-year term for a President who can be re-elected for another five years.
The FDD leader however said the Patriotic Front (PF) was voted into Government in 2011 because it was the best alternative but also because of the euphoria of change that had gripped the nation at the time.
Ms Nawakwi said she was shocked to read that the UPND claimed it could not attack her because the FDD was a political party that represented women in Zambia when both male and females were citizens suffering from the same economic ills under the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Government.
Featuring on Mellennium Radio the Interview programme yesterday, Ms Nawakwi said it was totally apolitical for the UPND to insinuate that the FDD was a feminist political party whose interest was only to represent women in the country.
Ms Nawakwi said the UPND and the PF did not deserve to be voted for because the two political parties were allegedly perpetrating political violence in the country.
She said she was ready to go to State House and discuss with President Edgar Lungu issues which were causing differences among political leaders.
“I was shocked when I heard the UPND secretary general claiming that he could not attack the FDD because the party represents women. The UPND says Edith Nawakwi represents women in Zambia so they cannot attack me. This is totally apolitical because this means the UPND represents men only and women should not vote for them,” Ms Nawakwi said.
Ms Nawakwi said in 2011 the PF did not have the best leadership but won the general elections because Zambians were generally fatigued with the MMD which had been in office for 20 years.
Ms Nawakwi said it was not surprising that the ruling party immediately started failing to deliver after having made mega promises to Zambians and that time had come for the country to have a female president.
She claimed it was a mistake for Zambians to have voted for the PF in 2011 because according to her, there had been a failure in the governance system in the country.
Ms Nawakwi said the political violence among political party cadres, the outbreak of cholera, the closure of higher learning institutions and the alleged delay in the payment of salaries for Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) workers was symptomatic of failure in the governance system of the country.
She said she was not willing to form an alliance with either the PF or the UPND because of the violent activities associated with the two political parties.
“When you ask me about the PF, I wonder whether the people got what they bargained for by voting for the PF in 2011. May be God wanted to teach us a lesson to stop choosing leaders based on mob psychology and this is what happened in 2011 where people just wanted to kick out the MMD without reflecting on the quality of leadership,” Ms Nawakwi said.
She said it would have been easy for her to form an alliance with either the PF or the UPND but that her party was discouraged by the levels of intolerance in the two political parties.