By: Bright Chikele
GEOFFREY Bwalya Mwamba has declared that should Zambians vote for Hakainde Hichilema as republican president, the UPND government will abandon some road projects to raise money to pay salaries for civil servants.
And Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, has maintained that he was the right hand man of the late president Michael Sata and claimed that the UPND had become a household name across the country and would certainly form government after the August general elections.
Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix special UPND sponsored programme, Mr. Mwamba said the PF declared a wage freeze on civil servants salaries soon after assuming power but that his party would increase civil servants wages and improve their conditions of service.
When asked by host of the programme, Hyde Haaguta, how the UPND was going to source money to increase salaries, Mr Mwamba said some of the road projects the PF government was undertaking would be abandoned to raise the money.
He claimed that the PF had been reckless in the implementation of the road infrastructure programme and accused some Government officials and ministers of being beneficiaries of road contracts.
‘‘Under the PF government, there had been a wage freeze and when it was lifted civil servants had a minimum wage increase. But when we form government, we shall abandon some of the road projects being undertaken and we get money which some ministers have been getting from the contracts and increase the salaries for civil servants. This includes our men and women in uniform,” Mr Mwamba said.
Mr Mwamba said Mr Hichilema and himself were not rich but were only comfortable and could afford three meals a day and that they were in politics only to serve and not to amass wealth.
He said the UPND was going to fix the economy and would create jobs for youths whom he said were the majority out of employment but hastened to state that it was not possible for Government to create jobs for all its citizens.
He said what had brought Mr Hichilema and himself together was the love for Zambians whom he said were living in abject poverty because of what he claimed was as a result of poor economic management by the PF government.
“We are enjoying massive support and the UPND is now a household name in all the 10 provinces. In 2010-2011 in Northern Province, Kasama in particular where I was a Member of Parliament (MP), it was a no-go-area for UPND but today it is our stronghold. That is why we know we are forming government and Mr Hichilema is the answer to the economic challenges we are facing,” Mr. Mwamba said.
Mr. Mwamba also charged that the Copperbelt which was once perceived to be a PF stronghold was no longer the ruling party’s base because the people in the region were angry with the job losses on the mines.
“We were in Luapula a few days ago, where President Edgar Lungu had to come in because he heard that we were making an impact,” said Mr. Mwamba.
Mr. Mwamba charged that the people of Zambia had realised that they made a mistake to vote back the PF in the 2015 elections and that he had been in the position of being affiliated to an opposition party which later formed government and that would happen again on August 11, 2016.
He accused the PF government of employing cadres as chief executive officers of key parastatal companies such as ZESCO and that when the UPND forms government this would not be the case.
“We will not employ cadres. We shall employ professional engineers, those who understand power generation,” he said.