THEY PROMISED THE SKY, MOON
…but they can’t even deliver the earth, Mpundu mocks UPND
By Thomas Ngala
IF people are not given opportunities to access food and access it affordably in amounts that are accepted, whatever you may say you are a failure with a capital F, says emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu.
He told The Mast in an interview that “if you feed the people, fine, everything will be alright. But you make it difficult for them to access food then they will say we are being neglected”.
He slammed the UPND administration over the many promises they made prior to the 2021 elections.
“They promised too much. They promised the sky, and the moon, and the sun but they can’t even deliver the earth. They promised too much. And people are not stupid. Even before independence, we were hearing it from our freedom fighters most of whom are dead. No, when we are independent from the British people will be driving cars, most people will be driving cars. We couldn’t see that, only very few. And when we are independent, our schools will just be like those in the UK. Came that day, nothing of that sort. When you promise so much, people are expecting what you promised them. And when they don’t see that, they get a chance to pull away their confidence in you,” he said. “You are liars! They don’t want to say it that way but that is what they mean. You promised this but now it is not here. Where are you? We were cheated by the party that is in power now. Now we have seen where they have come from and what they are able to do. All our confidence is gone. That is what politics is all about. Some people don’t want to accept the truth. Most have seen that this government is not up to what it takes, the way we want it. Promises have not been fulfilled and we are told to wait 10 years or we are going to wait for 15 years. No, people are hungry today. They are not waiting to eat until 20:00 hours, no. They are hungry now, and hungry people are angry people.”
Archbishop Mpundu said being voted into power doesn’t mean that the UPND leaders know everything.
He advised the government to listen to the people.
“What you have promised, they (citizens) have now come out clean, they know where you stand. They are not at all amused. You are not performing. You have to work double shift in order to perform. Listen to the people. If you don’t listen to the people…some of us, you might say we are strong on religion…issues of this kind must always be weighed. Listen to the people, you cannot go wrong when you listen to the people. I believe the words of the people is the Word of God. If people, those politicians leading us, who are governing us are not listening to the people’s cries, and it is said in the Bible, God will listen to the cry of the poor,” Archbishop Mpundu said. “When you don’t listen to the people, like the other time we were told the price of mealie meal has gone up especially breakfast, ‘you don’t have money for breakfast, go for roller meal’. You don’t have money for roller meal, what do you do? Why not eat kandolo (sweet potatoes). When kandolo is not around, what do you do? I think they would have said eat grass. People cannot wait indefinitely. They want those promises which were made to be fulfilled. You cannot tell a little child crying of hunger ‘oh but wait a minute your mother is going to prepare food at 20:00 hours or food will be available tomorrow’. If you are a parent, you have a partner, a wife, a husband, the first thing to do is do feed your family and if parents cannot feed their family then it is a real humiliation and it is terrible.”
On the President Hakainde Hichilema’s sentiments that he would lock up the PF members who he says are now regrouping, the Archbishop wondered why the President uttered such remarks.
He stressed that it is important for PF to remain in the political space for effective checks and balances to be done.
“We would like to think that Zambia is a democratic country or at least aspiring to be as democratic as possible. You heard that when there were elections in the UK, the opposition party just went into oblivion? No, they continued because this is one of the checks and balances. Now HH wants that particular party to get lost, no! We will be losing one area of checks and balances. So now, without shame say they will visit them. To do what? To beat them up, to kill them? No. We want this country to remain a democratic dispensation where people are free to speak, to associate, and so on and so forth. A place where liberties are respected. So if HH is thinking of trying to silence the opposition it is a wrong way. The only way to silence the opposition is to perform well,” said Archbishop Mpundu. “So this question of they are regrouping now, why are they afraid? Because then we get real checks and balances from an opposition political party that says you have that political party in government, see how they are messing up things. When we come it will be different, just like HH was doing. Now he wants to take that away from others, primitive politics of Africa. Trying to completely get rid of the opposition. But then there are other organisations which act as balances and one of them is OCiDA, and we want it to remain that way, without fear or favour. After the elections in the UK, you do not hear that the other party has stopped existing, no. They go on. It’s not a question of regrouping, it is just a question of going on providing checks and balances. He is wishing them to die, it’s a wrong wish and it won’t be fulfilled.”
While at Chimbokaila on Monday last week, HH said, “I want to send a message to PF that I can see that they are regrouping now. The fact that we did not lock you up, the fact that we did not arrest you, is not that we are not capable. We are just kind people. If you start regrouping now, we will come for you in a heavy way. In a heavy way! We will come for you in a big way.”- The Mast