UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri talks a lot but without intelligence and knowledge.
And Hichilema says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should clean up and maintain the current voter register, arguing that replacing it will be an impossibility within a month.
When Hichilema featured on Radio Phoenix’ Let the People Talk program, Friday, Phiri called in to ask why UPND members of parliament were not taking steps to stop what they termed as wastage of resources.
“Good morning, this is Mumbi Phiri the deputy secretary general of the Patriotic Front. I have two questions for you, you talked about government people buying V8, are you aware that even your members of parliament when they go to Parliament, that’s their entitlement? They are entitled to US$80,000 and a vehicle which they take over a period of time. If V8 are too expensive, why haven’t you encouraged your members to go into Parliament and come up with a private members bill to start reduction or they should start buying tuma Vitz so that we save the money because they are part of government. The second question is, he is talking about corruption, on the Forest 27, there are members of parliament for the UPND who have benefitted from that land, mind you, I was part of the parliamentarians when I was elected and the list was going round and they told me to include myself but I refused because I said I have enough. You have Chitalu Kasanda, she benefitted and has agreed that there was corruption involved. Why haven’t you punished the members of parliament who benefited from that land?” asked Phiri.
But in response, Hichilema said she lacked knowledge.
“I am glad that this lady is courageous. She has got a bit of dash courage really and you can see that even her facts are wrong and this is what PF is all about, a small number of people with courage but it doesn’t give you knowledge, complete lack of knowledge. Number one, she is saying the UPND is complaining of buying VX expensive vehicles but UPND MPs are buying VX vehicles, it’s a simple thing. It’s a lack of leadership. When UPND comes in, we will change the policy, we will not even leave it to the MPs that nobody will be buying a VX. She is admitting that the PF is failing to find solutions and remove the money being wasted on VXs to buy medicines in hospitals, to paying councils, to make sure that children are in school, including supporting persons with disabilities. This is exactly what she has done that she has called exposing her lack of leadership in the party…You should be ashamed, even to call on this radio Mumbi Phiri you should be ashamed, sometimes have a sense of shame, a normal human being has a sense of shame, you don’t have a sense of shame, you must develop a sense of shame. People are suffering, you should be embarrassed,” Hichilema said.
“The lack of leadership in the PF, that is a beautiful question madam Mumbi Phiri, thank you to you for coming to ask a question that exposes and confirms your inability as the PF to do the right things, what are the right things, to cut costs, to cut expenditure. It’s not the responsibility of the member of parliament, this is why we elect governments. Let me put it this way, why waste time to put a private members motion which will not lead to a change of policy. A private members motion I the house, and really the ignorance that Mumbi Phiri exhibits and she loves, she has got talk time, a lot of talk time in her mouth but that talk time is not backed with intelligence and knowledge. I am glad she again admits that there is corruption in the PF, Forest 27, she says there are members of parliament of UPND, she names one as Chitalu Kasanda, I don’t have a member of parliament in that definition, I don’t know, maybe she knows something I don’t know, the issue here is that, away from her exhibiting ignorance, the issue is that she is admitting that there is corruption in the PF.”
And Hichilema urged the ECZ to maintain the current voters register.
“Electoral commission of Zambia is not acting correctly, one; it will not be possible to register nine million voters in one month, it will not be possible. What we need is to continue with the existing voter register and then upgrade with new [entrants]. That’s the way it should be so we refuse for the ECZ to do away with the current registered voter database. They must do what is called incremental work. The six million that are there, they can clean the database but not to do away with it completely. They are trying to favour PF,” he said.
The opposition leader wondered why the registration of voters was not being done continuously as stipulated in the law.
“NRC issuance is not being done fairly, they have started with five provinces, why? They should have done NRC mobile registration in all the 10 provinces, the money is there but it’s all manipulations trying to rig elections, Zambians should not allow it. Voter registration is continuous under the law, why are they not registering voters in a continuous way, the law says voter registration is continuous, they are not doing it to favour the PF, we are aware of that and Zambia must say no to that,” he said.
He further urged the youths in his party to pretend to be PF if they have to in order for them to be get their NRCs during this mobile issuance period.
“People of Zambia get your NRCs, especially my youths get your NRCs, you go, pretend to be PF when they are organising NRCs, go in there, do a don’t kubeba, get a voters’ card, turn out to vote, protect your vote, the rest, leave it to Bally and the team, we will fix the economy, we will fix jobs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hichilema reiterated that those saying “HH has lost” are the ones who are losing because they are the ones missing out on being governed correctly.