UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema yesterday got pissed off when he featured on Radio Phoenix’s ‘Let the people talk’ programme after one of the callers repeatedly accused him of selling the Mines.
And Hichilema has warned PF media director Sunday Chanda that he will run away from his own country once PF gets voted out of government because he has taken up “the job of insulting HH everyday”.
Meanwhile, Hichilema says some businesses will shut down due to PF’s attempt to entertain administrative changes on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) systems.
The opposition leader got emotional when a caller called Elvis accused him of privatising the mines.
“Elvis keeps on playing this broken record that HH sold the Mines. Hey my friend Elvis, I was only 30 years old when the MMD government privatised the Mines and I never worked for government. I have said this several times, over and over. And people like you have no capacity to hear things that are said over and over. It’s just a level of hatred. You can see the venom that he comes out [with and] probably he doesn’t even like to hear that there is a human being, a Zambian citizen called HH. He says I have shares in Anglo America, if I wasn’t busy, I would take this guy to court because this is recorded, to prove that I have shares in Anglo America. I have no shares in Anglo America. So but to spare him with the anguish, he is already suffering, Elvis is already suffering and to spare him the anguish, I will not take him to court because the poor fellow will just be in court and get convicted for nothing. You must see what you say about human beings. I never sold any Mine, not even a single one,” Hichilema said.
And responding to a question from Sunday Chanda who asked why his reaction on the budget was contradicting with that of his party spokesperson, Hichilema described Chanda as a coward.
“Chanda, PF said they will grow by seven per cent and they are growing by three per cent. PF said that they will borrow less, PF said that they will maintain four months import cover [and] today the import cover is two months. Chanda, your friends have failed and you even know it but you don’t want to accept it. We have suffered enough. You are enjoying, others are suffering. I am impressed that Sunday Chanda has courage to ask me questions. I am very impressed with his Dutch courage. In English Dutch courage means you give yourself courage which you don’t even have. You are in essence a coward. If you see how he insults me every single week, Sunday Chanda’s job is to insult HH. That is what I call cowardice,” said Hichilema.
“Sunday Chanda you are a coward. Confront me, meet me, talk to me, tell me facts, let’s debate. You know that you cannot even stand one minute debating facts with me, you even know it. You were in MMD and today he is saying PF has constructed more infrastructure than UNIP and MMD put together, what a lie. You are working on Kaunda’s infrastructure. Sunday Chanda is really a young man who is messing himself up in a manner that when PF is out of office, he will probably run away from this country, running away from his own shadows because of the way he is carrying himself.”
He says some businesses would shut down due to PF’s attempt to entertain administrative changes on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) systems.
“The PF will try and entertain what is called administrative changes on a selective basis. In agriculture they will put measures maybe to support one or two companies, in industries they will do that to support one or two companies. Mostly you can speculate which companies will receive those favours, it will be foreign companies from a particular country. So in doing that, you create distortions, you create inequity in the eyes of the tax payer and therefore you create that opportunity of administrative intervention. Even ZRA has systems that will capture VAT easily at the ZRA and at a trading place at the point of sale,” Hichilema said.
“The cost of collecting this revenue will be high because you already have a VAT system both at the revenue collector (ZRA) and at the traders point. And now you have to completely start all over to do away with that system and bring a new system which means buying a new software, installing a new software [and] everybody will pay a lot of money. Not just government [but] even companies. When you increase the cost like that, you are now creating difficulties for businesses to survive. Some businesses will shut down. They were saying that HH is just bitter [but] today, no one can say that HH is bitter because the country is in a debt crisis. Today let me tell the people of Zambia that businesses will shut down and if businesses shuts down, you know that jobs are lost.”
And Hichilema said it is ignorant to think that government will save a lot of money through VAT refunds.
“This is the most ignorant comment I have ever heard in this argument of VAT refunds. It doesn’t matter who said it [but] it is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard, that government will save a billion kwacha in VAT refunds. Who owns that VAT, it is the money that is owned by businesses including Zambian individuals. And then ignorantly someone argues that government will save money, save whose money? That money never belonged to government. It belonged to businesses. It is better in the hands of businesses because they will re-invest and create more jobs for the unemployed youth and women. And if someone went to school and argues like that, then my next question will be which school did you go to? You went to Russia [or] you went where? Which school did you go to where you start claiming what does not belong to you? And when you fail to pay back the money you start saying ‘no I am going to save a lot of money. It was never your money” said Hichilema.