UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu’s international trips are not yielding anything because Foreign Direct Investment has reduced under his leadership.

At a media briefing in Lusaka today, December 14, 2016, Hichilema observed that FDI was much higher under Michael Sata’s regime.

“Here is a survey, I didn’t release it, it was released by Bank of Zambia and Zambia Development Agency that says that since Lungu came into office, Direct Foreign Investment which they claim they are increasing when they travel out has come down in 2014; when President Sata was still there, there was a higher foreign direct investment but now you have a worse leader who knows nothing and since he came in 2015, FDI has come down to $1.4 billion only,” Hichilema said.

“The same survey shows that private company turnovers and production since Lungu took over in 2015 has come down by 18.5 per cent. It also shows that jobs have declined by 11.4 per cent. This evidence shows that these foreign trips are yielding nothing. Investors cannot be attracted to a country with poor policies. It is a way for someone to go out and buy suits every day when citizens are suffering.”

And Hichilema insisted that the 2017 national budget was empty.

“There’s no recovery that can come out of this budget because it is full of inconsistencies. On one hand he says that we shall live within our means but he is proving that we cannot live within our means. I feel sorry for our MPs who have to debate this budget because there is nothing in here. 64.5 billion kwacha of the budget, which is 27.7 percent of the Gross domestic product, is the only one financed from revenue generated in the country while 33.5 percent of the budget is  financed from outside which shows Zambia is spending more than what it has,” said Hichilema.

And UPND vice-president Geoffrey Mwamba Bwalya reiterated that the UPND would not go for a party convention because it had good leaders.