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Lamentations of a Praise Singer!

File:Beauty pageants in the Miss Cavendish contest washing a car during a fundraising event in Lusaka.

In a video that has since gone viral on several platforms on social media, Lusaka District UPND Information and Publicity Secretary, Matomola Likwanya, lashes out and vents frustrations at the UPND government for what he calls failure on the part of leadership to take care of the welfare of party cadres. This was of course after the Lusaka City Council swung into action and attempted to demolish the Carwash he was trying to mount up along the Tokyo Ring Road in one of the capital’s suburbs. You could see the young man was in great pain. There’s little doubt he had a lot on his mind.

Although we may not agree with the manner Matomola tends to come out on certain issues at times; those in leadership ought to pay attention to the litany of his complaints. Something is definitely amiss somewhere, somehow!

“We would camp at your houses during our days in opposition to provide security to you when PF thugs threatened to attack you or whenever the police attempted to arrest you. We would tirelessly move visit TV and radio stations to defend and explain party policies. We’ve machete scars on our heads……we were hacked with pangas!” cried the outspoken party official.

He goes on to complain that he had to drop out of the prestgious University of Zambia (UNZA) where he was pursuing further studies under the auspices of the distance learning programme as he was condemned to prison for political reasons. He further reminds those in leadership that he and colleagues invested a great deal of time and resources mobilizing for the party although “they’ve now been neglected.”

“We”re suffering…..we’ve no money to pay rent,” he continues. “On a number of occasions, the president has advised us as young people to form companies or cooperatives as a way of generating income. I had to sale my car to invest in this Carpark business.”

There’s no need to pretend; this is a serious indictment on the ruling party, particularly the office of the Secretary General of the party who is of course the Chief Executive Officer! It’s quite interesting that the party can afford to continue keeping quiet when the likes of Likwanya are raising such contentious issues which may expose the party and its government to absolute contempt and ridicule.

Imagine a situation whereby you used to toil with comrades in the trenches eating ‘tute nembalala’ and suddenly you see them move to plush neighbourhoods and chauffeur driven in sleek SUVs as they boast of fat Bank accounts……The earlier the UPND leadership comes to terms with the reality on the ground and devises ways of taking care of its party members, the better! Of course we are not suggesting that UPND must emulate the brutal regime of PF and start dipping their hands into government coffers. There are always better ways of doing this. For instance, the party can introduce a village banking system (Icilimba) where party members can access interest free loans to set up their businesses. Fred M’membe is step ahead in thus regard as he’s already securing scholarships in Socialist states and disbursing empowerment packages to his rank and file.

Don’t ask about where the capital is going to come from; the same way you are asking ordinary members to sacrifice is the same way Cabinet ministers, senior government officials and diplomats must sacrifice part of their income to help those in need!

Matomola says, “We don’t get paid as party officials…….we are just volunteers!” What does this speak to you? He’s probably not the only one complaining. It’s important to keep your members satisfied to avoid outsiders jumping to wrong conclusions.

Remember, 2026 is fast approaching; you will definitely call upon members in Chibolya, Chipulukusu, St. Anthony, Ipafu and many other places where squalor and poverty is the norm to mobilise support for you, disseminate information on your behalf and definitely vote for you!

Forewarned is forearmed! Mulekutika?

Prince Bill M Kaping’a
Political/Social Analyst