UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that the country’s economy is currently on shut down, attributing the crisis to poor national leadership.

And the opposition leader has reiterated that there will be no “parte after parte” when UPND is elected into office as government officials will be focused on “work after work and more work”.

Meanwhile, Hichilema has challenged the accused Mukula smuggling cartel members to sue the American based environmental investigation agency EIA as originators of the Mukula investigation and not News Diggers!

Speaking when he featured on Phoenix FM during a special interview, Hichilema noted that the rate at which the kwacha was depreciating was a sign that the country’s economy was now shut.

“The reason you see the dollar trading at 15 going to 16 very soon is because there is no money in the economy. You have only one month of import cover, only one month. This country is economically shut, anytime it’s already shut, right. We are here to retrieve it, that’s why the youth should vote for HH and UPND,” he said.

“Kulibe ndalama, there is no money. Have you seen what Bank of Zambia has done, they have increased the minimum reserve ratios. What does that mean? It means they want to syphon more kwacha, there is already no kwacha in circulation. The solution is not that because you can syphon more kwacha to try and control inflation, it will not be controlled, why because there is no growth in the economy, there is no production of goods and services in the economy. There will be no results as intended by the Bank of Zambia, I feel sorry for them because the economy is shrinking, you know that.”

And Hichilema noted that the economy could not grow because the mining sector had been destroyed by the PF.

“When they said the economy will grow by 4 percent I said No, the economy will not grow by four percent because there is no activity. PF has destroyed the mining sector, they have destroyed KCM, they put it in liquidation. We told them, don’t put KCM in liquidation, now you hear accidents every day. They put cadres there to be liquidators at KCM, now Zambia is going to pay. When Vedanta sues us, we will pay a billion dollars for damages. You and I and other Zambians will pay for a crime we did not commit. We will have to collect that money from the PF who made wrong decisions. Yes Vedanta was an issue, but there was a way to solve that problem so that you continue with operations. This is not the right way to chose and the damage has now been caused because you see it in the kwacha trading at 15. Vedanta will come back for us soon if the damage continues at KCM,” he said.

The opposition leader further added that his government would be work oriented and not have a lais faire attitude. laissez-faire attitude.

“Our cabinet will be competent, which is merit. If you are from Luapula, you will be a competent cabinet minister in the UPND from Luapula, you will be competent, you will be knowledgeable, you will be experienced. No mediocrity on the table because ise siti funa masobela yayi, si ti funa parte after parte (we don’t want to play games, no, we don’t want to have party after party), for us it’s work after work and more work. The package of criteria will be the same but one criterion is competence, when we announce our cabinet after we are sworn in, a few days from there, no one should be caught by surprise. Just by announcing the cabinet, you will see the celebration across the country, the competence, the type of people, the gender issues, the youth issues, those who live with disabilities, it is that which brings in confidence. The market will start reacting positively, the kwacha appreciates. HH is sworn in, kwacha appreciates, why, because they know good things are coming,” he added

And Hichilema questioned how corruption could be fought by the very people who are at the centre of it.

“The Anti-Corruption Commission is failing to find the owner of 48 houses, how will they follow up houses in Dubai? We have a plan for that and it’s already in place, to be honest with you, we know who has taken what and where they have put it, we know. And the ACC will only function when a good leadership comes in. Yesterday, someone was talking about hating corruption, how can you hate corruption when you are at the centre of it? That’s madimbeka, in Lunda we call it madimbeka, kubeja mudala, ubufi, wenye, boza (lies). You can’t fight corruption when you are at the centre of corruption, how can you fight corruption, who are they cheating? So which anti-corruption commission will find a political individual who bought a house in Dubai?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Hichilema urged the PF to sue the EIA over the Mukula revelations as opposed to targeting News Diggers!

“People are hungry in Imusho and Lungu here and pf are lavishing in jets, lavishing in Mukula money and all those who are mentioned there. And by the way, if they have an issue with that report, they must sue the people in the United States who released that report, not even Diggers! Diggers reported what they heard from the States so if they are innocent of Mukula dealings, sue the US organization,” said Hichilema.

The opposition leader further charged that the PF had shifted State House to Lupososhi after losing a ward election all in a bid to buy off the councillor who was being protected by the party.