By Fanny Kalonda
SOME of the things President Hichilema said when campaigning, I would never say them because I have been in government before and understand how it operates, says Democratic Party leader Harry Kalaba.
Kalaba said President Hakainde Hichilema made promises without proper understanding of the governance system.
Speaking when he featured on Pan African Radio’s ‘People’s debate programme’ yesterday, Kalaba said President Hichilema was speaking from a wishful point.
He said he understands that President Hakainde is a good man but new in government therefore needs more time to understand how government operates.
“He spoke about governance without knowing how governance operates. He is new and he first needs to settle down. Some of the things he said, I would never say them because I have been in government before,” Kalaba said.
He has urged the Ministry of Health to clearly state how many health workers and auxiliary staff would be employed from the 11,200 promised to the people.
Kalaba said the government should have indicated that from the 11,200 there would be auxiliary staff and that not all would be health workers.
He said if the government employees less than 11,000 health workers, then it would have duped the country.
“I have nothing against free education. They should have phased it so that some of the finances would have been taken to other sectors. First of all, there is nothing wrong with employing drivers.
There is nothing wrong with employing mortuary attendants or cleaners because doctors and nurses should be able to work in clean environment. But there is everything wrong with wanting to make the number 11,000 part of auxiliary staff as we call them. They are not part of the main body.
So while we acknowledge, realise, that it is okay to employ all these people, they should have told us the provisions for the employment of these,” he said. “They should not mix the 11,000 health personnel because the way we understood it, it was nurses, doctors, clinical officers, environmental specialists.
Those are the health workers we thought. But these others like drivers should be different from the 11,000 health workers, because that is what they said.
They did not tell us that they were going to employ those others, no! So they also need to tell us the number they are getting from the 11,000. Then we have been duped. Again it’s job on training. They did not know the difference. At the end you can employ only 2,000 health workers and the rest will be ancillary staff.”
And Kalaba said former president Edgar Lungu is the only one who can explain what he meant by his statement on hypocrisy.
“You know the best person who can interpret what he meant on hypocrisy is the president himself. I think it would do well to call president Lungu and ask him what he meant by his hypocrisy comment. It would not be good to be speculating here. So we want to know what he meant by hypocrisy.
Is it the way it was handled?” said Kalaba. “But if president Lungu meant hypocrisy in the sense that there is a lot of lying around and a lot of people not speaking the truth, then he was spot on because there is a lot of lying around. If that is what he meant, then I agree with him. But I think the best person we can hear from is the president himself.”