Patriotic Front media director Sunday Chanda says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s recent visit to the Anti-Corruption Commission was a desperate attempt to gain political mileage.

And Chanda says he does not understand how Hichilema intends to fight corruption in Zambia when he has failed to answer questions related to the Paradise Papers where he was mentioned for alleged corruption and tax evasion.

In an interview, Chanda described Hichilema’s visit to the ACC headquarters last week as a strong contender for joke of the 21st century.

“We thought he would raise the bar by presenting hard evidence, but he lowered his already disreputable standards even lower. Instead of going with the evidence that he has notoriously claimed to possess, Hichilema went to ACC for an ill-conceived and poorly executed PR (public relations) stunt! That was as convincing as a hyena championing a vegetarian advert! The UPND leader has dodged questions, both locally and abroad, over the source of his acquired wealth. How his name appears prominently in the Paradise Papers – a report covering a number of people and their dubious use of offshore accounts to avoid taxes or otherwise hide ownership of assets. As a man aspiring for the highest office in the land, and a man in the public domain, why is he said to be hiding millions of US dollars overseas as per the Paradise Papers? Why not in Zambia? It is common practice in democracies the world over for people vying for high office to explain their wealth. Why does Hichilema suddenly become a dumb mute when he is asked to explain his rapid rags to riches story?” Chanda asked.

He said Hichilema had become desperate because he had no alternatives to offer Zambians since the PF government had delivered on their promises.

“Corruption is being addressed openly and the Head of State has never interfered in the work of investigative wings probing Cabinet Ministers and other government officials. But the UPND leader’s desperation is further heightened by the fact that the UPND 10-Point Plan leaflet has been swallowed by Patriotic Front achievements, and there is nothing that Hichilema and his UPND will promise the people of Zambia in 2021 that PF hasn’t already done or is currently doing. Because he has no alternative to offer, he and his minions and some yellow journalism outfits have crafted a malicious smear campaign against PF and the President. The fight against corruption is, thus, under siege by the opposition with its nefarious maneuvers resembling State capture. For them, it’s a political agenda with bad selfish motives! Can this opposition leader deny that according to some Africa Confidential Volume, he is funded and supported by some external business interests who want to use him as a proxy in their bid to take over Zambia’s State assets and resources, especially the mines?” Chanda asked.

Meanwhile, Chanda argued that Zambians could tell that Hichilema’s narrative on fighting corruption was fake and hypocritical.

“It was a nice try by Hakainde’s image builders to pull off a cheap trick at the ACC offices, but had desperation written all over it! Unfortunately, some of these opposition leaders may in fact have some nice words on the fight against corruption, but their character and track-record are not so nice. Zambians have an in-built hypocrisy antenna that comes up and blocks out the false humility of hypocrites and this is well-documented through president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s Memoirs ‘An Incentive for Posterity’. Hakainde Hichilema is a liar and cheat who wants to mislead to show that he is what he is not; his case is a very unfortunate one; Hichilema’s corruption gimmicks are pathetic! He must first clean his messy room, especially his smudged windows!” said Chanda.