UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says the catchphrase “Bally will fix it” is genuine compared to the PF’s Dununa Reverse” because the latter was meant to cheat Zambians.
And Hichilema says the controversial gold partnership between ZCCM-IH and Karma Mining, a Sudanese company, should not be allowed as does not benefit the Zambian people.
Meanwhile, Hichilema says the K10 billion stimulus package being given to commercial banks to lend to local business is not enough to sustain businesses in the country.
Speaking on Diamond TV programme, Hichilema insisted that the UPND were well equipped to fix Zambia’s huge economic challenges upon forming government next year, and that they had a cure to heal Zambia’s economic crisis caused by the PF’s mismanagement of resources.
“The genesis of Dununa Reverese and Don’t Kubeba is different here in PF from the genesis of Bally. The philosophical creation of these words are totally different. In the PF, it was a word to cheat people; that is why we have been cheated on debt, we have been cheated on jobs, more money in your pockets…no one has money. There is a lot of work needed to be done and Bally will need to work hard when he gets there,” Hichilema said.
“The genesis of Bally, let me explain how it came about: I was engaging the youths on social media and at the end one guy said, ‘we can see that you are going to fix our problems, you are a true bally.’ The mantra Bally did not come from emptiness like it was in PF; it came from substance on how we will we change the economy. The people of Zambia want a leadership that will address the problems, hence the Bally mantra to deal with the rot and the problems that have come out of the PF.”
Hichilema insisted that he would quickly fix all of Zambia’s problems as soon he was ushered into office in an apparent reference to a News Diggers! editorial, which argued that the next president will not not easily fix all of Zambia’s economic challenges overnight.
“I saw that editorial. If you heard that editorial it was a very good editorial. Zambians must know that the country is collapsed. But I will shock them. There is a lot of work to be done and Bally needs to work extremely hard when he takes over. First thing, as UPND, we would have not allowed the economy to collapse. Remember, I was talking about the Dununa Reverse virus, we have medication for that. The medicine is visionary leadership, prudent management of our resources, careful distribution of resources into districts, for equity social justice; that is where we come in. If you talk about these parameters of UPND, which will cure this Dununa Reverse virus and not use COVID as an excuse now as a destruction of this economy, we would have then borrowed less; the debt mountain you see would have not been there under UPND. The revenues that we would have accessed would have applied to the production sector. When we put funds like we proposed, like what Bank of Zambia is doing today, is something we proposed around February. I called that we need PF to call Parliament to sit virtually to re-align the budget so that we take out the unnecessary expenditure,” Hichilema added.
He said the country’s economy was already destroyed by the “Dununa Reverse virus” and not COVID -19.
“This economy did not get destroyed because there was a virus called COVID-19, which came. This economy was destroyed well before COVID-19 came to us; before Wuhan in China somehow caused this problem and the global economy. The economy was destroyed by a virus called ‘Dununa Reverse’ that destroyed our kwacha from K5 to a dollar in 2011 when PF took office to K15 to a dollar by December, 2019. I love numbers because they don’t lie; so the kwacha was destroyed before COVID-19,” he added.
“We borrowed more money; we had a debt mountain before COVID came in. Corruption was there, stealing money from ambulances, fire tenders, from the Lusaka-Ndola (dual carriageway) road, which should cost US $400 million is costing US $1.2 billion, US $800 million stolen before COVID. Corruption, greed through the virus called ‘Dununa Reverse’ is the one that has destroyed our governance institutions, that has taken the rule of law, taken away our humans rights and freedom. It is a ‘Dununa Reverse’ virus!”
And Hichilema called on Zambians to reject the gold mining partnership between ZCCM-IH and Karma Mining because it will not benefit Zambians.
“When we come in, God willing, courtesy of the Zambian people, all new licences in the extractive industry; Timber Mukula, mineral licences, will go to Zambians. What is happening in Mwinilunga because of their corrupt minds have set up a company to mine gold, to exploit that resource and have gone into a shareholding with a Sudanese company! Mwebantu, abena Zambia! Sudanese to be a shareholder and effectively through the cob web of shares, they would have the majority of shareholders and Zambians will hold less than 30 per cent. Our own gold and you are complaining about our kwacha depreciating, you are crying about international reserves, which have been depleted now we are just talking about one or two months’ import cover,” Hichilema said.
He also said government should stop attacking companies that are doing well like the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) Plc where no PF member had shares in.
“You don’t go for CEC just because it is a private company, which the PF politicians have no shares in. You don’t go for HH’s businesses, talking against HH, sending tax investigations after tax investigation, you are not killing HH; HH will survive! You are not damaging HH, you are damaging employees of CEC, you are damaging the employees of Prime TV. You are damaging the future of the children, who are born from those workers. The issue of HH having shares here or there does not matter; I don’t have shares in CEC! The PF should not look at what HH owns, what Milupi owns, that way, they come and damage your business,” he said.
Meanwhile Hichilema said the Bank of Zambia’s (BoZ) K10 billion stimulus package being given to commercial banks to lend to business was insufficient to sustain businesses in the country.
“Now, to argue that we have a stimulus package that has come because of COVID is actually wrong. A stimulus is needed not because of COVID, but that the PF destroyed the economy. The numbers are there from seven per cent growth to two per cent growth, who destroyed it? It is the Dununa Reverse virus,” said Hichilema.