12 January 2013

Zambia: State Slams Chipimo Claims

STATE House has observed that the current crop of opposition political parties lack sincerity in the manner they engage Government on various national matters.

Special Assistant to the president for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah said opposition leaders should realise that there was always a creative, truthful and moderate side to every argument no matter the scale of the subject matter.

He said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that the opposition should position themselves as real and mature alternatives in the governance of the country.

Mr Chellah was in particular referring National Restoration Party (NAREP) leader Elias Chipimo Junior over allegations he made that the Patriotic Front (PF) had failed to perform.

"Lies, deceit, incitement and wayward utterances can only excite the media without providing concrete solutions to the needs of our people.

"We are cognisant that the opposition is an essential constituent in every democratic system except a modicum of civility and sincerity in their engagements with the Government is what Mr Chipimo and the Zambian opposition in general is currently lacking," he said.

Mr Chella said the opposition should invest in sober and resourceful forms of engagements with the Government instead of the negative-criticism style of politicking.

"Our advice to them is to invest in sober and resourceful forms of engaging with the Government because this administration stands ready to dialogue with all well-meaning citizens on matters affecting the country," he said.

He described as unreasonable, Mr Chipimo's allegations over the performance of the Government and advised him to provide reasonable alternatives.

He said the 'wild' allegations from Mr Chipimo were not only exaggerated but that they also completely disregarded basic realities on the ground.

He said it would be helpful to the Government if Mr Chipimo raised tangible facts and substantiated claims.

He said failure to appreciate the practical and fundamental realities of governance would constantly make Mr Chipimo appear as though he was occupying a parallel universe somewhere.

Mr Chipimo, at a press briefing in Lusaka on Thursday, expressed concern with the manner in which the police was arresting opposition leaders, saying that was undemocratic.

"It has never been our desire to see the PF administration fail, as we want them to prosper. But they might fail if they focus on the opposition, creating new districts, moving provincial capitals and engineering of by-elections among others," Mr Chipimo said.

He said political leaders should think about developmental issues and that the Government still had time to fulfill pledges and listen to the people.

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