UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says the dossier published by News Diggers! detailing abuse of public resources on President Edgar Lungu’s international trips is a testimony of the PF’s recklessness.
Reacting to the revelation in a statement, Thursday, Hichilema stated that it was abominable for President Lungu to value luxuries in the face of millions of Zambians living in poverty.
“The leaked dossier as published by the News Diggers on the abuse of public resources by Edgar Lungu and his PF leadership cannot be taken lightly and we call on all those mentioned and the entire government machinery to own up and come out clean. This dossier is a clear testimony of the levels of recklessness, extravagance, contempt and patronage with which Edgar Lungu and his administration holds their offices, which they dubiously obtained from the Zambian people. Being custodians of public wealth is a noble and sacred responsibility but these people care less as can be seen from this waste of scarce resources that are supposed to be channelled to needy and critical areas like health, education, farming and the fight against poverty,” Hichilema stated.
“To imagine that at a time like this where students have had no bursaries in learning institutions both at home and abroad, where farmers’ input provision in the last season was not prioritised and regarded as critical, where our citizens were dying of cholera and other water borne diseases in hospitals and clinics that have no drugs and clean running water, and yet Edgar Lungu and his large entourage were busy lavishly spending taxpayers’ money shopping in exclusive designer boutiques. They were busy chartering cruise liners and expensive chauffeur driven limousines and hiring special cargo removal services to repatriate their made to measure merchandise while the country is struggling with poverty and the economy is on its knees, is just something we find abominable and absolutely despicable.”
He questioned the huge delegations on these trips.
“What really are the roles and purposes of all these PF cadres and cronies including ‘bedroom attendants’ named in the published dossier and all at taxpayers cost? And yet Zambian people are being forced into destitution by addition of more and more taxes under the Health Insurance Bill just to fund expensive tastes for Edgar Lungu and his State House Staff and other Government officials, whose insatiable appetite for reckless expenditure is now in competition with Hollywood. We have always been questioning Edgar Lungu’s numerous trips abroad and their relevance to the country, but there has already been justification that they were beneficial to the country and that we were just bitter and envious of their new found luck,” he stated.
“Based on this dossier, it is more important for Edgar Lungu and his large entourage to be in foreign countries to dance the whole night, hire luxury limousines, take part in walking safaris, hire shipping cargoe services as compared to the life of that poor Zambian child in the streets and villages, learning in grass thatched school roofs leaking with rain water, and sitting on bricks and bamboo desks.”
He urged citizens to demand for accountability.
“As responsible citizens, we must demand for accountability and serious answers from this and many other financial improprieties by these clueless PF people who we now know have no heart for this country hence the lingering questions that refuse to go away, as to whether these are really Zambians by blood. If indeed they were Zambians with interest of our citizens at heart, would they spend public resources so lavishly and wastefully as if there is no tomorrow? We urge our citizens to rise up to the occasion and take keen interest of this plunder of our national wealth and our heritage, by people who care less for their welfare and the future for their children and grand children and generations to come,” stated Hichilema.