PF media director Sunday Chanda says Hakainde Hichilema wants to occupy State House at all costs because the opposition leader feels like Zambia owes him the Republican Presidency.

And Chanda has wondered if the UPND leader delights in the misfortune of other people, questioning why he is not rejoicing over the saving of about 21,000 jobs after mine owners resolved not to lay off any workers.

In an exclusive statement to News Diggers! Chanda charged that Hichilema was so desperate to become Zambia’s Republican President such that he was willing to do and say anything, even if it destroyed the country and put people in danger.

“Mindful that a looming sixth defeat at the polls will jettison his waning political career into extinction, Mr Hakainde Hichilema has defenestrated patriotism and every modicum of decency he may still have had; he has instead adopted dirty tactics and is drawing everything from the pile of the vile. Hichilema wants to occupy Nkwazi House at all costs, even if it means saying things that can destroy the country, people losing jobs or sabotaging the Zambian economy. Even if Zambian citizens, workers and miners are trampled upon, the end justifies the means for the UPND leader; probably he feels he is bigger than Zambia or that Zambia owes him the Presidency at all costs,” Chanda charged.

He recalled how Hichilema castigated his party spokesperson for welcoming the new mining tax regime some time last year.

“In the moments that followed the presentation of the 2019 (national) budget on Friday, 28th September, 2018, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma welcomed the changes to the Mineral Royalty Tax. And footage was subsequently shown of Kakoma on ZNBC TV news and private media channels elaborately praising the 2019 budget, saying that the changes in the mining tax regime were timely as they came at a time when Zambians felt that they were not benefiting from the mineral resources. The UPND spokesman further described the changes as ‘fair’. A few hours later, Mr Hakainde Hichilema in a vicious mood at his party secretariat humiliated his party spokesperson when he brutally trashed Kakoma’s statement welcoming the new mining tax regime,” Chanda recalled.

“And when the mines subsequently made an announcement threatening the loss of 21,000 jobs as a result of the new tax regime, Hichilema was over the moon as he clicked his heels, jumped for joy, and did cartwheels! He could hardly conceal his fiendish glee at the prospect of 21,000 Zambian miners losing their jobs because he felt he could ‘kill two birds with one stone’; it would make the government unpopular on one hand; and it would further his political interests on the other. Hakainde betrayed Zambians as he distanced himself from the Zambian mine workers and did not make a single effort to plead their plight before the mine owners. Instead, UPND life president saw it as political capital and took sides with his personal interests and foreign capital; as he stood in support of the mine owners. With a malevolent smirk on his face, Hakainde gleefully twiddled his fingers in anticipation of the loss of 21,000 jobs on the Copperbelt. Meanwhile, the Patriotic Front government continued to engage the mine owners, as the PF administration stood shoulder-to-shoulder with mineworkers’ unions and the miners themselves.”

Chanda argued that the outcome of the negotiations between government and the mine owners had shocked Hichilema as what he anticipated never happened.

“While Hichilema eagerly anticipated and looked forward to massive job losses on the Copperbelt, the mines yielded to government’s patriotic endeavours…Is Hichilema a man who delights in the misfortune of others and is displeased by their progress? Why isn’t he rejoicing with the saving of 21,000 jobs? He’s clearly disenchanted with progress, especially when he construes the said progress to illuminate others and dim his prospects of occupying Plot One; even if the progress is for the greater good and benefits the majority. Hakainde delights in the misfortune of others. But why should he behave like a twisted predator who looks for opportunities to prey and benefit from calamities that befall people in vulnerable positions, even if the said calamity affects multitudes, as long as he can derive some kind of advantage?” asked Chanda.

“It is heart-breaking when Hichilema considers good news for Zambia as bad news for himself; and bad news for Zambia good news for himself. As Dr Lubinda Haabazoka recently wrote: ‘…Some stakeholders including certain economists said the new taxes are bad and I am sure these people were just waiting for job losses!! In any fight that benefits citizens, it should be Zambia first! Certain issues know no religion, tribe or race. Certain things are about Zambia and its future’. As he wipes and licks the mining egg off his face, we wish Mr Hakainde Hichilema well as he enjoys additional dollops of a particularly red humble pie.”