VETERAN politician and academician Peter Matoka says the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been progressive in the last two years, although a lot of work needs to be done.
Dr Matoka, 83, who served in the first post-independence Cabinet, said yesterday in an interview that the PF should not allow criticism to hold up the development process which has been progressive.
“The two years of the Patriotic Front Government is exceptional, although the period is too short for all the dreams to materialise. But what is important is to remain focused,” said Dr Matoka, who is an academician at the University of Zambia.
He said criticism should not allow the PF to misdirect focus from the development process.
Dr Matoka, who served as Information, Broadcasting, and Postal Services minister in the First Republican Cabinet, cited the education sector as one in which the Government had made significant strides.
He said the creation of more public universities and facilitating for the private sector to open new higher learning institutions was encouraging.
Dr Matoka, who is currently Copperstone University Chancellor, however, said there was need for the Government to consult stakeholders on various issues in order to get consensus.
He said there were a number of issues in the PF Manifesto being translated into Government policies which some people did not know, thus difficult for them to participate in or appreciate what the Government was doing.
Dr Matoka said the lack of consultation among various stakeholders would stimulate conflict and tension both in Government and in the community.
He said there were a lot of ambitious people in Zambia, who at their own level, could effectively contribute to the development of the country.
He echoed President Michael Sata’s sentiments that Government should be open not only to the elite, but also to the ordinary citizens so that there was exchange of information required for the development of the country.
Early this week, President Sata encouraged his Cabinet ministers and PF members of the Central Committee to explain what Government was doing.
The veteran politician served as minister of Works and Supply, Local Government and Housing, Health, as well as minister of Economic and Development Planning, among others.
Dr Matoka also served in the Foreign Service as High Commissioner to Britain.
And former Freedom fighter Mama Chibesa Kankasa in a separate interview, said the PF roadmap to development was sound and needed support.
Mama Kankasa was particularly impressed with the creation of new districts.
“Hospitals, clinics, schools, water and sanitation systems, roads, markets, districts centres, expanded and modern shopping centres will develop as a result of creating new districts,” Mama Kankasa said.