PF Govt responds to attacks by Nevers, Chipimo Jr.

Republic of Zambia Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services

Media statement (for immediate release)

GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO ATTACKS BY OPPOSITION LEADERS NEVERS MUMBA AND ELIAS CHIPIMO

I refer to recent attacks in the media against President Michael Sata and attributed to opposition Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Dr. Nevers Mumba when he appeared on Joy FM Radio and later published in The Post newspaper of Friday, 20th September, 2013.

Government finds it difficult to respond to the careless attacks made by Dr. Mumba as they consist of derogatory and demeaning language that only serves and promotes hatred and plants seeds of uncivilised politics in our national discourse.

Government is determined to engage in healthy and constructive debate and discourse that will help bring solutions to the challenges the country faces.

I wish to state that Government has a strong and clear economic programme that focuses on alleviating poverty, develop rural areas, promote agriculture and diversify from copper as the mainstay of our economy, to other productive sectors as outlined in the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (R-SNDP).

Government finds it difficult to respond to the careless attacks made by Dr. Mumba as they consist of derogatory and demeaning language that only serves and promotes hatred and plants seeds of uncivilised politics in our national discourse.

Government has heightened its focus and support to the agriculture sector with defined attention not only to Crops but to Livestock, Fish farming and a sustainable Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) premised on developing poor rural households into successful small and medium scale farmers.

The NAREP leader, Mr. Elias Chipimo, for his part, ought to be reminded that for the first time since the early 1970s, Government has embarked on massive construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, health facilities and other vital social and economic amenities countrywide.

This robust infrastructural development programme is opening up our communities and taking Government services closer to the people and in the process achieving two important goals: lifting our people out of cyclical and generational poverty and creating employment especially for our young people.

For nearly 50 years, Zambia has had only three public Universities namely the University of Zambia in Lusaka, the Copperbelt University in Kitwe and Mulungushi University established recently in Kabwe. In line with its Manifesto, Government has embarked on the construction of new universities in various parts of the country.

They include David Livingstone University in Livingstone, King Lewanika University in Mongu and Paul Mushindo University at Lubwa in Chinsali. This is in addition to other universities being created by converting existing colleges such Chalimbana, Palabana, Kwame Nkrumah and Mukuba Universities.

Further and beyond this, Government, under the leadership of His Excellency President Michael Chilufya Sata, has placed high priority on the training of youths and giving them an opportunity to obtain life skills and vocational training.

To this end, Government is constructing youth skills training institutes in various parts of the country with some of them nearing completion in Isoka, Muchinga Province, and Kalabo in Western Province.

Government is also building over 84 secondary schools countrywide – 32 of which are already completed.

Furthermore, Government is constructing 21 new Districts countrywide and 650 Health Posts. Government is also constructing 114 new staff houses. Government has also just completed the rehabilitation of 137 health facilities. The rehabilitation of a further 110 health facilities has commenced.

Besides the Link Zambia 8000, PAVE Zambia 2000 and the Lusaka L400 road projects, Government has embarked on a wholesome development agenda that is set to make Zambia a far better place than the MMD left it.

Therefore, to respond to the broad insults that Dr. Mumba has uttered would be giving credence to the unfounded and baseless attacks, allegations and malicious insinuations.

For young politicians like NAREP leader Mr Elias Chipimo JR, he is advised to take time and learn politics and avoid following blindly in the footsteps of spent forces.

I must emphasise that President Michael Sata and his Government is determined to engage in meaningful and fruitful debate whose outcome should promote national development, peace and national unity.

President Sata would be keen to respond to attacks from opposition leaders, if the response will evoke a genuine dialogue on solutions to the various developmental challenges facing the country such as high poverty levels, the high disease burden, the high unemployment rate affecting our people, especially young people, and the under-development that characterises our countryside.

Our people are keen to see that leaders at all levels engage in debate that will resolve these and other serious matters affecting their welfare and livelihood.

It is for this reason that we refuse to give merit to Dr. Nevers Mumba’s derogatory journey of insults, his keenness to practice dirty politics and mischief as clearly displayed by him.

For young politicians like NAREP leader Mr. Elias Chipimo JR, he is advised to take time and learn politics and avoid following blindly in the footsteps of spent forces.

Our sincere appeal to the opposition leaders is to urge them to practice politics that help build and develop the country. Currently our colleagues from the opposition are bent on engaging in disruptive and negative politics that take away the strides that the people of Zambia are making in coming together to focus on the development of the country and to ensure that we maintain our peace and unity.

Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, MP MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON 21st September, 2013