President Edgar Lungu’s daughter Tasila has responded to the opposition UPND insisting that her father was too advanced to the opposition leader.
Tasila charges that Hichilema who is her father’s main challenger does not qualify even to debate with her.
“However, I am ready to overlook this and show him why his 10 Point Plan is meaningless,” Tasila says in a statement below.
“He is not ready for any debate neither is he ready to rule this country. Mr. Hichilema and his party have fallen short of the minimum requirements. Ever since I indicated that Iam ready to debate with him, there has been so much talk amongst UPND members with some of them indicating I disrespected him. On what basis does this translate into disrespecting him? Is it age? If that is the case then all youths in politics are disrespecting elders. Is it because he is the leader of an opposition political party? Well, that does not hold either. In fact it is Mr. Hichilema who does not meet the minimum requirements for a meaningful political debate. To the people organizing these debates, my advice is that they should create a framework within which political parties can debate, in the absence of which it is as good as a high school debate. Our President is ready for debate and he is the only Presidential candidate who meets the minimum requirements to participate in a meaningful debate.
President Lungu is the incumbent and is bound by the national expenditure framework. In his campaigns, he cannot promise anything that is outside this national expenditure framework. His campaign messages are tied to the budget projections for the next five years. These projections have been appraised and deemed feasible by stakeholders who take part in development planning. In short his hands are tied in terms of what he can promise the people. While we have copied these presidential debates from developed countries where democracy has fully matured, we have not developed a framework within which these debates can be conducted. We want to bring the President whose campaign promises are restricted by the national expenditure framework to debate with opposition leaders who are allowed to promise anything they dream of? That is unrealistic. All parties should develop Manifestos, Detailed Implementation Plans (DIPs) and Five year Expenditure Frameworks. That way, they are able to explain WHAT they want to do (Manifesto), HOW and WHEN they will do it (Detailed Implementation Plan and Expenditure Framework). Once this is done, a panel of independent experts is selected to appraise these documents so that anything that is not feasible is taken out. So the first level is for each candidate to present these documents to this team of experts and discuss the feasibility of their plans. Once all these documents are reviewed and contents deemed feasible then they can go ahead and conduct Presidential debates because they are now all restricted to debating within what is feasible for this country given the resources and baseline status of the economy. In the absence of this, calling for a Presidential debate is as good as going into a ring with your hands tide while your opponents are left free to punch you. We let politicians waste so much time discussing WHAT and never bother asking them to explain HOW they will do the WHAT.
Economics is the study of the allocation of SCARCE resources among COMPETING ends. The PF’s campaign is restricted to this definition. However, Mr. Hichilema’s definition is Economics is the study of the allocation of UNLIMITED resources among ALL ends. So how do you expect our President to debate with such people? How can such people even convince Zambians they are ready to rule when they have no idea as to what the true cost of what they are promising is? In fact they haven’t even explained to Zambians HOW they will do what they are promising. Given this explanation, it is actually him who does not qualify to debate with me and the President is too way advanced for him. However I am ready to overlook this and show him that his Ten Point Plan is meaningless.”