By Fulman Mukobeko
Young African Leadership Initiative(YALI) Executive Director Andrew Ntewewe says insinuations that his party has abandoned the Patriotic Front(PF) months after the general elections are false as the two institutions have never entirely worked together.
Ntewewe says on principle, President Edgar Lungu is now an enemy of YALI because he does not want the referendum on the bill of rights as he claims that there are many priority areas his government is attending to.
And Ntewewe says the fight against corruption was more pronounced in the late Levy Mwanawasa era than in the PF administration.
Speaking after he gave his speech at the Seminar on Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Bodies in Zambia, Ntewewe said YALI has always been neutral, saying the PF agreed to work with the institution in the campaign for the bill of rights to be enshrined in the National Constitution.
“Nothing has changed. YALI has always been neutral on matters of national importance. Sometime we do not agree with political parties and sometimes we do agree. For instances some people are saying that we supported the PF prior to the 2016 election. The answer is simple. We agreed on one thing and that was people voting for a bill of rights. We wanted Zambians to vote for a yes. It was the PF that gave in to our idea of having a referendum on the bill of rights because it was an intelligent idea,” Ntewewe said.
Asked whether it was in order for President Edgar Lungu to continue in his position after the failed referendum on the bill of rights, Ntewewe said it could be too much for people to expect the President to resign on principle because of the polarised African politics.
” It is unfortunate that something like that can never happen in our politics. It would be too much for people to demand the resignation of President Lungu Otherwise, he would say ‘I put it open for Zambians to vote for yes or no. I am a democrat ,” Ntewewe said.
And Ntewewe said the fight against corruption has lost its momentum.
He said pronouncements have been made by President Lungu on the fight against corruption but no action has been made.