By Pamela Mulenga in Chadiza District, Eastern Province
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s embattled Running Mate Professor Nkandu Luo has angered Chadiza residents in the Eastern Province for insulting Chiefs in broad daylight.
Protesting Chadiza residents described Professor Luo’s disparaging remarks targeted at traditional leaders as uncultured.
Residents bitterly complained in separate interviews that it is uncalled for to witness Prof. Luo’s openly tell Chiefs off lacking that thinking capacity on account of backing United Party for National Development (UPND) Alliance Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema.
“In June 2021, Professor Nkandu Luo came with Patriotic Front (PF) senior officials in Chief Mwangala’s area and Chilenga ward for campaigns, during which she insulted our traditional leaders, simply because of their (Chiefs) preference to back UPND Alliance leader Hakainde Hichilema,” chorused residents spoken to by this author in Chadiza District of the Eastern Province.
At a meeting the former Fisheries and Livestock Minister directed ‘not thinking properly insults’ at headpersons mocking them for lacking thinking capacity by having vowing to votefor HH in 2016 and in 2021, a Tonga not Edgar Chagwa Lungu their tribes person,” recollected Madalisto Phiri, a small scale farmer and qualified male nurse(not employed.
Mr. Phiri reiterated that residents of Chadiza District as a community of people granted with democratic rights and being peaceful, had resolved to vote for candidates in the forthcoming general elections on merit.
And Phiri expressed worry that the rising cost of living pegged at K8, 442.24 for a family of five in May 2021 assessed by the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) and the Zambia Statistical Agency (ZSA) Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) is high and apparently confining a majority of Zambians to living in abject poverty, caused by a poor PF administration.
And Rita Chavula, a marketeer described Prof. Luo as a disgrace following her last interaction with the people in the course of which Chiefs were unjustifiably insulted.
Ms. Chavula says Luo’s remarks clearly a indicated the type of the party she is representing, making residents prefer Hakainde Hichilema as a better choice.
“Luo siangankambe ati afumu sianganiza bwino kuvotela HH in 2016 and should not vote for him ni mu tonga bamai banja balimbe ulemu batisiye..(Literally meaning that ..Luo could not say that Chiefs do no think well for having voted for HH in 2016 and wanting to make a similar choice in 2021. If we want to vote for a Tonga, Luo must just leave us),” protested Ms. Chavula.
Ms. Chavula said the truth of the matter is that on the ground in Chadiza District, people do not want the Patriotic Front, and are merely warming up to them get free money and food.
Meanwhile, a Grade 12 school leaver, Helga Mwanza said the road network is in a bad state and load shedding is done on a daily basis.
“Here in Chadiza District, we are facing many economic and social problems, fuel shortages every week, agriculture inputs are very expensive as one bag of fertiliser is fetching K900. Who can manage to buy three bags here in Chadiza District as a peasant farmer. As a district, we have one hospital and few clinics, with no medicines as patients are always given prescriptions to go and buy medicine in private chemists,” complained Ms. Mwanza.
Zambia goes to polls on Thursday 12th August 2021, within the next 28 days, as from Wednesday 14th July 2021.
Unfortunately, the political terrain is uneven as participating political parties intensify campaigns as prescribed by the Electoral Commission of Zambia amidst Coronavirus (covid 19) pandemic guidelines.