Alliance for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi has charged that President Edgar Lungu and some senior PF officials have already bought big buses waiting to maximise in the phasing out of mini buses in 2019.
Speaking at the joint press conference with UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema today, Milupi said he had information that the Head of State had already bought 57 buses.
“I have said there is nothing small for these looters to steal from a mini bus driver, someone who drives a minibus, someone who owns a minibus, wakes up so early to transport our citizens to and from. To steal from them that rely on that business is appalling. I don’t know how these people will fare when the time comes and we cross over into the higher realm. Our information is that not only do they want to phase out these buses and bring bigger ones, our information is already even as we speak, senior members of the PF have purchased these buses. They are just waiting for the implementation of this policy. The looting that we are seeing on the fire tenders and on so many other things is not enough, they must now go and grab the businesses that so many of our people are involved in,” Milupi said.
“There is an allegation, and President Lungu please you are in a public office , when allegations are made, do not brush your things aside address them. You are probably the only president in the whole world who chickens from addressing press conferences to explain, to allow these good people of the press to ask you questions. There is already an allegation that you have bought 57 buses, big buses just waiting for this to be implemented so that you can now be ploughing these roads.”
He observed that there were more people dying in big buses than mini buses.
“PF government, Mr Lungu don’t care, as long as they have the opportunity, get the money out of these poor people’s pockets. This is why we are saying that this is our country and we will not tolerate this kind of thuggery and looting of our resources. The other point we are trying to make is that they have advanced reasons for doing away with the small buses that these are causing a lot more death than the big buses. Again going back to my profession as an engineer is that you cannot make a statement like that, that is unsupported by substantive research, that tells you exactly what is happening. Those of you who read newspapers and the online media, I think in Zambia there are more people who die on these big buses 65 seater buses than on the small ones. Go in every country, go in South Africa, go into Kenya east Africa, the concept of the Matatoos, they are the same buses,” Milupi said.
He said it was not the type of vehicle that caused accidents but corruption among law enforcers which allowed faulty vehicles to be on the road.
“Let us understand what causes accidents on our roads, that causes people to die on our roads, its not the type of vehicle, its the corruption that is within the police that allows faulty vehicles to be on our roads, its the incompetence on our roads. The incompetence on the maintenance of our roads. We support this man because we are satisfied that he is going to run a competent government, I think UPND we refer to it as knowledge best government where issues of this nature are correctly analyzed and the causes that you want to address identified and with prescribed solutions to correct whatever you want to correct. These people are driven by the desire to steal, the desire to keep money in their pockets, finished and nothing else,” said Milupi.