United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema says time has come for Zambians to rise against the PF government and say ‘enough is enough’ with the taxes which are almost killing the citizens.

Commenting on the newly introduced 30 ngwee charge on all Internet calls during a press briefing at his New Kasama residence yesterday, Hichilema asked Zambians to reject any more taxes by embarking on peaceful demonstrations to send a signal to government that they were not pleased.

Hichilema said Zambians cannot continue suffering by paying taxes just to sustain the lavish lifestyles of government officials in the PF administration.

Hichilema explained that citizens had the right to protest if they were not pleased with some government decisions.

“How long are you citizens willing to watch others spen your money lavishly, recklessly while you fail to feed your children? For me, I think the time has come to say ‘no’ to such a government. Time has come to say ‘no’ to small group of greedy people that are stealing from everybody and it’s at this point that Zambians must come together, walk together and say ‘this we shall not allow anymore’ and I believe and trust that citizens will do exactly that, they’ve done it before in a very peaceful manner when they said ‘no’ to the one party State in the late 80s. Zambians have always come together even in 2001 when somebody wanted a third term, they came together and said ‘no we don’t wanted a third term’ and they did it peacefully. This is another time that Zambians must come together and say ‘enough is enough’,” Hichilema said.

“This is a time as we’ve done before and maybe even more now that we should unite and put our foot down and do that which is constitutionally right, which is legally right, which is really a common sense thing to stop those that are cheating, stealing from poor Zambians. Peaceful demonstrations are part of that because it’s a constitutional right, it’s a human right to express ourselves through peaceful demonstrations and no decent government in the world should stop people from having peaceful demonstrations when the fundamental law allows it or when common sense logic allows it. Zambians have done this before and they can still do it.”

He observed that Zambians were being forced to pay for the PF’s failure to govern.

“PF want the average citizen of Zambia to pay for their failure of leadership. The PF want us citizens to pay for their failure of management through excessive taxes and other punitive measures. The tax you see on Internet, you can call it a levy if you wish but it’s still a tax. This is just one amongst many taxes. These as you already know include, the already high Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the VAT that you pay on most of the goods that you purchase. The road tax that you are asked to pay, the carbon ammunition tax, toll gate levy that you are paying everyday for moving from your home or going for work if you are working, everyday you have to pay that tax. The fuel levy and you know the controversial boreholes levy that they have introduced. The withholding tax on rentals, taxing widows who have no other money, no other source of income,” Hichilema said.

“A ruthless government takes the first opportunity to share in a rental income from a widow who struggles to build her house, a house which government did not contribute in any way to build but they are saying to ‘pay us first’, there is TV levy and many others. They want the citizens of Zambia who they’ve extracted not less than 90% of all their salary that they earn, all the income that they earn… which money should have been used to educate children, to feed the children and has caused excessive poverty in the homes. PF wants to collect all these taxes, all these levies to support their expensive lifestyles, to support the corrupt few in the PF. By the way, it’s not everybody in the PF who is enjoying and benefiting from this pain that the PF has caused the citizens of Zambia. This is a party that promised citizens that they would have more money in their pockets but everybody knows now that under the PF, nobody has any money to talk about. This is a party that promised more jobs but everybody knows now that most school leavers today are unemployed and the chance of getting a job is slim or none existent at all.”

Hichilema said life had become extremely expensive for an ordinary Zambian under PF.

“Everything in the country is expensive now. But we still have a small number in PF who want to extract more money from citizens. The question we should ask ourselves is; how much more can the citizens of Zambia, those who live in this country, those who do business in this country, how much more pain can they bear? I am sure if each of us asked themselves this question ‘are we better today under PF than we were just a few years ago under a different government?’ I bet all of us, we would have a similar answer, we are worse off now than we were under a government before PF. So the question now is at what point will you the citizens of Zambia say ‘enough is enough’? At what point will you refuse to fund corruption, to fund the excessive borrowing of money which they use to finance projects outside of this country to create jobs outside Zambia,” said Hichilema.