UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka says Zambia has an absentee President with no grain of knowledge on how to address the numerous problems facing citizens.

And Katuta says instead of addressing the high cost of mealie-meal prices, which Zambians are grappling with, the President is preoccupied with globe-trotting with a huge delegation.

In a statement, Tuesday, Katuka stated that it was irresponsible for President Edgar Lungu to continue gallivanting instead of calling for an emergency Cabinet meeting to resolve the skyrocketing mealie-meal prices.

“The rate at which Edgar Lungu is destroying our economy is alarming! Unfortunately, the country has an absentee President who has no grain of knowledge on what ought to be done to address the problems facing the majority Zambians. Instead, he is busy globetrotting with a huge delegation, leaving Zambians buying mealie meal at K150 per 25Kg bag. It is irresponsible for Lungu to continue gallivanting when he should have called an emergency Cabinet meeting to resolve the mealie meal price, which is skyrocketing,” Katuka stated.

He observed that citizens were hurting, adding that it would be his party’s number one priority to create food security in the country once it formed government in 2021.

“Unfortunately, this is what happens when you rig elections. You end up paying back with a mountain of failures. Zambians are hurting and we, in the UPND, are aware of how much work we have upon taking over leadership in 2021. The first thing we shall do will be to create food security in the country, which has been suffocated by the PF visionless leadership. We wish to advise the PF that you cannot be engaging in propaganda with the economy when your citizens are dying of hunger,” Katuka stated.

He charged that the economy was sinking, while the ruling PF was busy with propaganda.

“The high levels of corruption in the country is the only thing that Edgar Lungu has achieved. According to Transparency International, Zambia’s Corruption Perceptions Index from a year ago rose to 105 out of 175 countries under Lungu’s leadership. While PF is busy with propaganda, the economy is sinking. We wish to assure Zambians that the UPND is ready to take over leadership, democratically, and fix the economy. We are ready and we are putting so many measures in place to be able to respond to the challenges facing marketeers, bus drivers, farmers, civil servants’ late salaries, and ZamPost and Times of Zambia workers’ salary arrears,” stated Katuka.

“We are ready to resolve the gratuity UNZA workers are owed from 2011. We are ready to pay retirees on time. We are ready to bring back all those civil servants retired in PF national interest. We are ready to resolve the mining challenges created by Lungu and his PF. We are ready to unite the country, which Lungu has divided through nepotism. We are ready to revamp the agricultural sector. We are ready to clamp down on corruption and bring all those found wanting to book! Lastly, UPND under president Hakainde Hichilema shall ensure all those who have stolen from Zambians pays back!”