United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has urged PF govt to declare this year’s farming season a national disaster.
Speaking when he toured some maize fields in Chibombo district in Chief Mungule area this morning ,Mr Hichilema says PF have destroyed the hope of all the farmers due to poor policies and a lack of understanding of what farming is.
Mr Hichilema also took time to visit the Ministry of Agriculture fertilizer storage facility in Chief Mungule area where he found farmers receiving fertilizer.
The UPND leader wondered why a serious leader would start distributing fertilizer in February as if he did not understand the calendar.
And speaking to Mr. Hichilema, farmers complained that they have been neglected by the PF gocernment and they fear for the future of their children as they have lost all they had planted.
Farmers who sought anonimity revealed that the government is not even interested in seeing to it that their cattle is dipped thus this leading to loss of animals to preventable cow deseases.
Mr Hichilema ,who was accompanied by Deputy Secretary General for Administration Gertrude Imenda ,UPND Chairman for Agriculture Levy Ngoma,Chairperson for Strategy and Mobilization Sylvia Masebo, Deputy Chairman for Strategy and Mobilization Brian Pangani, Deputy Treasurer General Felix Ngoma,Zambezi East MP Brian Kambita,Lukulu West MP Hon Mutelo ,Lufunsa MP hon Mulyata ,Kasempa MP hon Tambatamba ,Mazabuka MP and Chief whip Garry Nkombo among other senior party officials , were received by Headmen ,Indunas , Keembe MP Princess Kasune and Katuba MP who is also UPND Deputy Spokesperson Patricia Mwashingwele.
When president Hichilema toured some farms, Farmers complained that government has neglected them amid the dry spell.
Farmers said if government distributed agro inputs they could have done exceptionally well.
“And MP for Mumbwa Central Honorable Credo Nanjuwa says ” up to date we have not received agro inputs even after farmers deposited the k400 into the bank accounts.The e-voucher has been a disaster.”
And UPND Central province chairman Albert Chifita has said PF government is the worst government ever and they have created serious problems for farmers in Chibombo district.
District chairman for Chibombo Royd Kayeka who spoke in Lenje has said “we do not know if PF rain season begins in January because this is when they are beginning to distribute agro inputs, i don’t know what kind of farming they understand …they have killed us”.
“Our children cannot go to school because there is no money.With this bad farming season, everything has gone to waste Mr President”.Mr Kayeka has said.
“Edgar Lungu came here with a Chopper and he expects to see how bad our fields are using a Chopper?that is a mockery….”He sadi.
“Look at HH, he came here and went with us into the fields, he walked in the mud with us and that is the type of leader we want, not someone who comes to mock us with a helicopter”.
And commenting after touring the fields, President Hichilema says ” this is a depressing situation…the situation cannot be retrieved….These are the fields which have over the years fed the people.”
“Poor policies of the PF government have also contributed”.
“I am shocked that after visiting this area ,Edgar Lungu a few days ago would say we have no food crisis this season. I do not know why Mr Lungu would say this field is okay, may be the problem is a lack of understanding of what farming involves but even then he cannot come here and begin saying all is well when farmers are suffering.”Mr Hichilema has said.
“These farmers would not have planted if the government told them that there would be a drought.Forecasting is important in every nation , for a serious government ,as it prepares farmers on the approaching farming season and when it is the right time to plant”.
“Edgar Lungu’s Lack of understanding of agriculture and poor PF policies have killed the farmers “.
Mr Hichilema also took time to greet marketeers in Chief Mungule’s area who complained of hardships and high cost of living .
Mr Hichilema encouraged them to look forward to a serious leadership soon under the UPND.
Mr Hichilema later addressed the farmers by the Palace assembly grounds.
“We came here just to have a site visit as you may be aware that farming is important for all of us”.
“What we have seen is clear that the crop has failed for many reasons”.
“The biggest problem is lack of leadership in the PF.They start distributing fertilizer in Febraury, does that make sense? And you come with a few bags of fertilizer simply because Edgar knew he was visiting area , is there logic?”
“Even from the slogan “dununa reverse” you can tell that you can not progress as a country.We can see the reverse gear by delivering inputs late”.Mr Hichilema has said.
And a PF official by the name of Nkabila from Katuba has with immediate effect defected to the UPND.
“The country is in a crisis and I challenge Lungu to declare farming a national disaster so that we can find immediate solutions.”
“This is the result of stealing votes, you have no clue on governing the nation.Lungu is ashamed due to his failed leadership , you can see how he looks in his face ,he is really ashamed.”
“Our time to rule properly and deliver seed and fertilizer on time is soon approaching.
“We shall pay you on time and fight the cattle disease we have heard about from the farmers here.”
“We shall ensure we have a proper weather forecasting so as to easily advise you when it is appropriate to plant because our duty is make sure you have food and your children go to school.”Mr Hichilema has said.