UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has mocked the fire trucks that First Lady Esther Lungu went to receive in the United States of America as a donation.
And Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo has described the fire trucks as dilapidated.
In January, First Lady Esther Lungu led a 25-member delegation on a two-week visit to the United States of America to receive four fire trucks that had been donated to the Zambian Government. The said fire trucks have since arrived in the country.
But in a brief post on his Facebook page, Tuesday, Hichilema mockingly asked which museums the fire trucks whee destined for in Zambia.
“Quite some amazing 19th century technology. As young boys, we watched these on black and white television sets in some movies. Which museums are they destined to in Zambia? Would like to view them at close range,” mocked Hichilema.
And in an interview, Tembo said it was disappointing that a huge delegation was tasked to go and receive dilapidated fire trucks.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we are extremely disappointed that despite the huge resources that the government spent to send the First Lady and other officials and dignitaries to the United States of America to go and receive fire tenders; when these fire tenders finally arrived in Zambia, when you look at them, they look extremely dilapidated,” Tembo said.
“And the question is whether indeed, the cost of that trip by the First Lady and those government officials was really worth the value of these fire tenders that was subsequently donated to us, or whether it was a sheer waste of tax payers money? And our view is that indeed, this particular transaction was a sheer waste of tax payers’ money. And it just goes on to show the levels of disregard of the government in general, the President of the republic of Zambia President [Edgar] Lungu and the First Lady in particular. If the money which was being used was their personal money, the question is whether indeed they would have taken that trip to go and obtain those kinds of fire tenders? So if the answer to that question is no! Then obviously, the act of going to get those fire tenders using an entourage of about 26 officials was indeed a very reckless task and sheer waste of tax payers’ money.”
Tembo asked the First Lady to pay back the money wasted on the collection of the “dilapidated fire tenders”.
“The people of this country should begin to stand up and begin to basically demand that when incidents like these arise, then the people involved, in this case the First Lady, must pay back the money that they wasted. And that would be our demand as Patriots for Economic Progress that the First Lady of this republic wasted tax payers’ money in this particular trip and therefore, she must be made to pay back the money they wasted on that USA trip to go and get these dilapidated looking fire tenders,” said Tembo.