Only foolish people in the PF can deliberately choose to misinterpret my position on the mines, out of stupidity, to claim that I don’t want investors to pay taxes, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

And Hichilema has insisted that Zambians and all business houses cannot wait to have him as their President because they know that the UPND government will turn the economy around with better investment policies.

Meanwhile Hichilema says under his rule, mines which will be found guilty of evading tax would lose their mines.

In an interview with News Diggers! Hichilema rubbished claims by the Patriotic Front media director Sunday Chanda who accused the UPND leader of siding with the mines instead of the Zambian people, because the opposition party was funded by foreign investors.

What we said on Radio was very clear. Only a foolish person in the PF can deliberately misinterpret what I said. Out of stupidity they have twisted what Hichilema said to suit their agenda. There is not a single mine that has ever financed the UPND, that’s a lie! They (PF) are holding on to a stool because they are thinking the river is too strong, the current in the river is blowing. This ‘chimbwi no plan’ PF has no idea how to run the economy. The only reason any business or individual in Zambia will support HH, not financially, is because they know his policies will make them better. The economy will be better, businesses will be better, marketeers will be better, including Zambian suppliers. We will put a law that will require that all businesses operating in Zambia should favour Zambians. We will introduce that law, which will affect the mine suppliers as well. Let me give you this example… let’s move away from the mines because this is the motion around the stupidity of the people in PF, lack of understanding, ignorance and just sheer stupidity! We are saying, in this law that we are going to put in place, the government of the UPND will have adverts to place for any programme, developmental projects or tenders; we will give the adverts [to] Zambian-owned media,” Hichilema explained.

“The UPND is funded by citizens of Zambia and I am one of them. Am I not a citizen? GBM is another, isn’t he a citizen? And many well-wishers, Zambians, wherever they may be, in this country or outside. Anyone else who wants to support UPND, they are welcome. The issue is that UPND is funded by Zambians, that’s why we want the economy to grow so that there can be more stronger Zambians running businesses. We will give them to Diggers!, to Daily Nation, the Mast because we want Diggers! to grow not just from the cover price of the newspaper of K10, but any adverts that will come from the government will equitably be placed in those newspapers because we want business retention and money to be in the economy. But those ignorant PF people don’t understand what we understand in the UPND.”

Hichilema further explained that mines will not be allowed to make profits without paying a fair.

“We want mines to pay a fair tax, an appropriate tax. They must contribute to Zambian revenue, it’s our desire and it’s what we will implement. Our policy [as UPND] is that everybody must pay their tax, which includes the mines. They must all pay their fair tax to the Treasury so that the revenue can be used to support investment in different areas. In fact, when we form government, there will be a law that will seek to prosecute mines that evade tax, and if they are found wanting, they will lose their mines to the State. Then we would also like the mines to support education as it were in the past, we want to scale internal scholarships by mining companies and other businesses…that’s very clear and stronger than this nonsense that the PF are doing in the mines, they don’t even know what is happening in the mines. We know what is happening in the mines, but the PF don’t understand. So, mines will also contribute to the revenue of this country. But what we will not do is to overtax mines or any other businesses for that matter,” Hichilema said.

Meanwhile, Hichilema stressed that Zambians could not wait to have him as the seventh Republican President because they knew that the UPND government would support their businesses and improve livelihoods of all citizens with strong policies.

“Zambian farmers should be happy, in fact I can confirm that Zambian farmers are happily waiting for a UPND government and HH’s leadership because they know that the cost of fertilizer will be down. They know that fertilizer will be given on time; they know that they will be paid on time and given a fair price for their maize. I can confirm to you that in Lundazi, that’s why you see that support from there, because the farmers in Lundazi are eagerly waiting for a UPND government because they know that HH’s policies will support them. They are looking forward, they are talking to us. After that radio programme, mine suppliers were phoning me to say: ‘HH please come quickly, we listened to your programme, we love it!’ It is only the evil PF, the brutal dictatorial PF are unhappy because we’ve exposed them! Then they want to start saying that ‘HH is getting funding from the mines that’s why he’s saying that mines are waiting for us’, let me replace mines with Diggers! with radio stations, the farmers, with retirees, ba kopala, they are all looking forward to UPND and HH’s government for the many reasons I have always talked about,” explained Hichilema.

“It’s not fair to single out and pick that HH favours the mine owners, no! I am favouring Zambians through this package I am explaining, which PF cannot understand. If they understand this level of thinking, they are corrupt and they don’t want to implement it because if they implement it, it will save a Zambian job. That’s why they don’t want to see a Zambian who has got a bit of income because those Zambians will make independent political decisions, they will not be bought like tomatoes in the market, the way councillors are being bought. So, there is no money that we get from the mines as UPND, it is Zambians, and I am appealing to all Zambians to support the UPND, including funding UPND.”