Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says government doesn’t need any help from UPND president Hakainde Hichilema to fight the hunger situation, bragging that even him can buy 25,000 bags of mealie meal in one minute and feed the poor.

And Lusambo says Hichilema has been pushing his luck too far by going to Chongwe, insisting that the water points which the opposition leader visited on Tuesday were a restricted area.

Meanwhile, Lusambo says the government has commenced a project to find an alternative water source for the people of Chongwe.

On Tuesday, Police in Chongwe stopped Hichilema from touring the district, saying he needed a police permit.

And speaking on Hot FM’s Red Hot Breakfast show, Wednesday, Lusambo bragged that he could buy 25,000 bags of mealie meal in one minute to feed hunger-stricken Zambians.

He also argued that Hichilema had no capacity to help Chongwe residents as he failed to uplift the lives of people in Bweengwa constituency in Monze District.

“He has failed to render help to his people in Bweengwa! We have seen people in Bweengwa; they are in dire need of help! Even his cows in Southern Province need help! Let him respect the leadership of this country. There is help we can appreciate not help for political mileage. If Hakainde wants to help: that 25,000 bags of mealie meal he is talking about, I can buy that 25,000 bags of mealie meal in one minute and give to the people,” Lusambo said.

“The incident in Chongwe yesterday (Tuesday) was very unfortunate. That Mr Hakainde Hichilema has been pushing his luck too far! He has no capacity to give help to the people of Chongwe! We don’t even need those things Hakainde Hichilema is talking about. He is a cheap politician! Let me invite him for extra tuitions where political manoeuvres is concerned because whatever he has done so far is a miss! I have been in politics for quite some time.”

And Lusambo claimed that government had been inviting Hichilema to tour projects in the country, but that he ignored repeated requests.

“I want to put [the] record straight: There is a government in Zambia and the head is His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces. And he has Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. We have invited Mr Hakainde Hichilema to be on our tours when we are touring roads that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is constructing, touring hospitals, schools and dams so that the opposition can appreciate the good things that his Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s government is doing. Mr Hakainde and his team have ignored because they don’t mean well [to] this country,” Lusambo alleged.

“What they want to show to the people of Zambia is that they are the best, when they are the most useless team we have! As government of President Lungu, we are not jokers like Mr Hakainde and his team. For us, we are working for the people of Zambia, including Hakainde Hichilema. The responsibility we have is to administer affairs of this nation.”

Meanwhile, Lusambo explained that government had commenced a project to find an alternative water source for the people of Chongwe, adding that local residents would soon have safe and clean water.

“The MP for Chongwe [Japhen Mwakalombe] and I visited Chongwe when we heard there was a problem concerning the water system. We visited Chongwe River, which is not the problem of PF, that it has nearly dried off! As government, we have not just been sitting in these offices; as you may be aware, some of us are not ‘pocket ministers’; we are field ministers! We went to the project, which government has started under Water and Sanitation Ministry, 30 kilometres from Chongwe’s town, to find an alternative water source for the people of Chongwe,” said Lusambo.

“As I am speaking, the contractor, who has been contracted to do the line form the water point to the reservoir… we have done everything and the water is there. What we are waiting for now is just to complete the last two or three kilometres for us to start giving safe water to the people of Chongwe.”