All People’s Congress Party (APC) president Nason Msoni is a bitter man because he spent five days at State House seeking an audience with President Edgar Lungu without success, Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Davies Chama has said.
But Mr. Msoni denied frequenting State House saying it was President Lungu who had asked to see him but who kept on postponing the meeting.
Responding to Mr. Msoni’s assertions that Zambians had ushered wrong characters in Government and that there was need for a change of government next year, Mr. Chama accused Mr. Msoni of practising politics of the belly, which were detrimental to the development of the country.
Mr. Chama said Mr. Msoni was a politician who had failed to look after himself and had resorted to attacking government because he was a bitter man.
He charged that Mr. Msoni belonged to a clique of politicians who had failed to fit in to the political landscape of the country.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) has noted that the anger and frustration that some opposition political parties were expressing against the current leadership was as a result of exclusion after working with the PF, when it was in internal strife.
‘‘Not all the people were looking for jobs. It is not all people who worked with Edgar who wanted jobs. It is true that some may have wanted jobs, but some campaigned for Edgar out of principle and expected the spirit of inclusion. Clearly, there are not enough jobs for everybody. We worked with the PF closely and campaigned with them in some of the most hostile and inhospitable territories, but we have since then been left out in the cold.
“The anger, frustration, and sometimes negative sentiments being made are the result of despair and desperation that those who opposed us are uniting and presenting a common front against the leadership of President Lungu, while those of us who worked with him are now left out in the cold,” he said.
Mr. Sakala noted that while others joined hands with the PF for personal gains, there were other genuine parties who joined out of principle.
Mr. Chama emphasised that politics of the belly were inimical to development “I think that politics of the belly have become a problem in this country. Mr. Msoni spent one week going to State House to try and see the president but he could not have access, that is where the bitterness is coming from. That is what those who practice politics of the belly do when they fail to meet their objective; they become frustrated. He is having a challenge in his life and he now wants to blame the President who is innocent,” Mr. Chama said.
But when contacted for a comment, Mr. Msoni said he had never been a destitute in his life and that there was no time at which he asked to have an audience with the President to solicit for any favours from government.
“I have been in politics for a long time and I have never asked for any favour from anyone. President Lungu himself asked to have an audience with me during this year’s Africa Freedom Day celebrations. He asked me to remain behind and afterwards, he told me to see him the following day. He kept on postponing our meeting for a week and that is how I was going back to State House,” Mr. Msoni explained.
He explained that he would have benefited from various governments if he was practising politics of the belly because he had been in politics for a long period of time. “If I wanted to benefit, do you think I would not have benefitted from the previous governments? If I was criticising President Lungu’s predecessors, why shouldn’t I criticise him when he goes wrong? We are just helping him to govern and we will continue doing so.
If there are people who are practicing politics of the belly, then it is people like Mr. Chama but they should know that come 2016, they will be voted out,” he said. But Mr. Chama said it was sad that Mr. Msoni had allowed himself to be used by some sections of the media which were allegedly giving him undue prominence.
“If you have failed to look after yourself, because you have mismanaged yourself and you think that the President should come to your rescue, it is very unfortunate. Every responsible person must be able to look after himself and if one created a political party which doesn’t even have a following; not even a branch, as a means to manipulate the Presidency then that person is not doing any justice to himself,” Mr Chama said.
He said Mr. Msoni was one of those politicians who never progressed in anything they laid their hands on because he had been in politics for a long time but achieved nothing.
“I remember when I was provincial elections chairman for PF, Mr. Msoni applied to stand in Kabwata, I interviewed him… he has tried this and that but failed. It is unfortunate that we have a lot of jokers in this country, no wonder Zambia is not moving forward because we have a lot of people who are not serious,” Mr Chama said.
He explained that the country had a lot of challenges that government was addressing and that the PF would not be derailed in its quest to deliver what it promised the people of Zambia. “Even responding to some of these things is a waste of time. We are not even bothered by some of these characters who take politics as an engine for generating money by manipulating government. We have a lot of things to do to transform this nation beyond recognition and we will do what others have failed to do, we are very focussed and we don’t have time for jokers like Mr. Msoni,” he said.