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Nawakwi bashes unrealistic politicians

STEVEN MVULA & HOPE NYOKA, Chipata
FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi says some presidential hopefuls are making unrealistic promises in a bid to win the January 20 poll.
And 132 MMD members led by Chipata constituency chairman Philimon Mwale on New Year’s Eve joined Edith Nawaki’s Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) citing lack of leadership in their party.
Ms Nawakwi told journalists shortly before meeting Paramount Chief Mpezeni at his palace in Feni yesterday that most of the promises candidates are making are not achievable.
She said that Zambians now view politicians as liars because of the many unfulfilled promises.
“Politics in Zambia means lies. Someone is promising people that he will give them free education from grade one to the university. How possible is that surely when even in America, there is no such policy,”  she said.
Ms Nawakwi, who once served in the first cabinet after the re-introduction of multipartism, said people no longer trust politicians because of many unfulfilled promises.
She said politicians are lying to the people so they vote for them and get to State House, adding that she instead has a realistic message to the people.
“A lot of our women are suffering yet they have means to solve their problems. And when I am elected, I will work with you to find solutions,” Ms Nawakwi said.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people said when candidates visit him, it does not mean that he has endorsed that person.
“When I meet people, I am accused of endorsing [them]. I am a leader for all and should I chase people that come to visit me,” he sai.
Chief Mpezeni was speaking when Ms Nawakwi paid a courtesy call on him.
He said it is people who vote and elect a person of their choice and so the issue of endorsing does not hold water.
And Chief Mpezeni has described Ms Nawakwi, the only female contender in the presidential race, as a seasoned politician.
He said he has been chief since the Kaunda era and so has a fair understanding of politics.
“I know about the FDD and even your own political career. I used to see you present the budget when you were Minister of Finance in the Chiluba regime. You are a good politician,” Chief Mpezeni said.
And the members who quit the MMD, mostly women, said they feel orphaned now that Rupiah Banda is not contesting the January 20 poll.
“We have been let down by our leaders and we feel only a woman can be a truthful leader,” Mr Mwale said.
He said he has since issued instructions to the party structures to campaign and vote for Ms Nawakwi.
And Ms Nawakwi said she is the most experienced and, therefore, suited to be Zambia’s next president.
She said once elected, her number-one job will be to reduce presidential powers.
“The president has so many powers which I will clip when you vote for me,” Ms Nawakwi said.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, rains did not deter Ms Nawakwi from taking her message to residents of Chipata’s Mchini township.
She addressed scores of people who only had umbrellas.
Ms Nawakwi is in Eastern Province to woo voters.

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