Call us fools we’ll still speak, HH tells Lungu

By Staff Reporter

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says his party will continue speaking for the masses even if President Edgar Lungu considers them as fools.

During his visit to the Copperbelt last week, Lungu described all his critics as ‘ifipuba’ (fools).

But the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader has vowed to continue providing checks and balances.

“According to Mr. Lungu, Zambians and other people and institutions who are outside his government and are trying to offer alternative solutions in resolving the current economic crisis (nkongole) the country is going through are merely noise makers not worth listening to,” Hichilema said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is this kind of arrogance, know it all and contempt which has led to the huge debt that Zambia has accrued with nothing to show for it. If only Mr. Lungu had taken time to listen to our persistent advice on the management of the economy, our country would not have been in the current economic mess.”

He said all responsible citizens had advised Lungu against excessive borrowing but that he could not listen.

“Since Mr. Lungu thinks everyone else is stupid and only he and the PF are wise, in his mind it would be wise to cancel a $100 million build-operate-transfer airport tender and replace it with a $300 million loan. It is wise to borrow $30 million to construct a conference room and put land as collateral,” Hichilema stated. “It is wise for him and his government to increase their salaries while they proclaim austerity for the rest of the country. It is wise for his Government to steal from the poor and vulnerable. It is wise for Mr. Lungu to buy expensive Landcruisers while proclaiming austerity. The list of questionable decisions which show lack of foresight and wisdom is endless, but this man should say we are all ‘stupid’ and he is wise.” Hichilema stated that when the UPND advised Lungu to consider cheaper loans he ignored them.

“When we advised them that they should invest more into productive sectors which would create value addition, jobs and wealthy and subsequently generate economic activity for tax revenue to repay the loans, they ignored. Here we are now, the ‘wise’ Lungu is over taxing everyone – in some instances taxing us double. It is forgivable if they are taxing us to provide social services, but no, they are taxing us so that they can buy Landcruisers and increase their salaries,” stated Hichilema.

“And we keep alerting our citizens that with such kind of attitude by Mr. Lungu and his cronies, we are headed for more troubled and disastrous times ahead, both economically and politically. Let us continue talking and making Lungu and his PF account. This economic disaster staring us in the face will not spare you because of your political affiliation, it will take you on because you are Zambian. Whether we are ‘fipuba’ or what, let us fight for what is right for this country and the ‘fipuba’ will triumph and posterity will show us who was the ‘cipuba’ in all this.”