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UPND failures accumulate

By Venus N Msyani

UPND failures have accumulated to the point it is no longer easy to agree on which one is the biggest

Zambians are debating as United Party for National Development (UPND) failures continue to accumulate. The pile has reached a point where it is no longer easy to agree on which failure is the biggest.

To some, monthly fuel price adjustment is the new dawn administration’s biggest failure. To others, the high cost of living, while others think drifting away from promises is the biggest failure.

Many other failures make the debate even more interesting. Failure to move to State House is on a list. President Hakainde Hichilema is hesitating to move to State House.

He commutes from his private home in New Kasama to State House every day, which has added a burden on the government budget. Currently, Zambia is in bad shape economically. Every dollar is needed. Hichilema refusal to move to State House means instead of the country saving the whole dollar, it spends some cents on Hichilema’s commute.

Failure to lead by example in the fight against corruption is another big one. To date, Hichilema has not publicly declared assets and liabilities. To many, this overshadows all other failures.

The fight against corruption is Hichilema’s top agenda. He started with full force, but now he has softened. Every time he tries to be tough in the fight, it reminds people of his failure to publicly declare assets.

Another failure that cannot be ignored is waiting to be reminded to act on laws suffocating Zambia’s democracy. The Public Order Act is as bad as the Defamation of the President law was, but still here. Hichilema appears to be waiting to be reminded to act on it.

He is busy holding rallies in Lusaka and around the country in the name of commissioning and launching development projects, while the opposition is being denied a permit to gather. It cannot be concluded the president is not aware it is a threat to the country’s democracy.

Afraid Zambians will have to go through the same struggle they went through on the Defamation of the President law for the Public Order Act to go. Some may disagree, but very true. If it were not the voice of the people, the Defamation of the President law would still be here.

The arrest and detention procedure is another Hichilema administration’s biggest failures. People continue to spend more than 48 hours in police custody, which is against the law. The same was happening under the previous government. Under the new dawn administration, it has reached a different level.

People are being arrested in abduction style. Police pick suspects up and take them to unknown places. Family and friends have to search for a picked suspect in different police locations until they find him or her. People without families and friends to search for them may be disappearing just like that.
Recently the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) party leader Sean Tembo was arrested for hate speech. It took about 24 hours for the family and friends to locate where he was being kept.

All these failures make it no longer easy for Zambians to agree on which one is the biggest failure. And the point is, if President Hichilema has failed he should step down.