UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says there is no need for President Edgar Lungu to cry over Bill 10 because it was a selfish piece of legislation.

And Hichilema says Zambia is headed for trouble following bondholders rejection of governments’ request to suspend debt repayment for six months.

Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk programme, Friday, Hichilema wondered why President Lungu wanted to run for another term when he had damaged the country.

“There is no government that has damaged this country, damaged this economy as PF has done, none at all! And I can’t even understand why someone is asking for another term of office, with anger, with a lot of venom for what? You have destroyed the economy already! We want to revive the economy. We will put a moratorium on debt. If the PF wants, they can implement part of our manifesto, put a debt moratorium. Immediately the UPND comes into office, we will restructure the debt which means that will take down the cost of negative impact of the debt. We will reschedule. If you want to reschedule, if you want bondholders to give you relief, you must demonstrate that you have stopped wasting money, this government has not stopped wasting money, it is still buying VX vehicles,” Hichilema said.

“In Bill 10 which someone is crying about every day, the whole of mature man is crying about Bill 10 every day. You were always going to lose Bill 10 sir because it was not meant to help the people , it was meant to help you and the PF. And the people always rise. Maybe it is a lesson you should learn that the people are powerful that any of us in politics. And I love the people of Zambia when it matters most they show their power, they showed their power on Bill 10 by defeating Bill 10. No need to cry over Bill 10, it was never going to work because it was a selfish piece of legislation,”

And Hichilema said Zambia was headed for a financial crisis.

“The Zambian government is saying we borrowed money from the lenders called the Eurobond holders, they are the ones that provided the loan, kaloba, to Zambia even against our advice which we rendered to the PF not to borrow. They went ahead against our advice, this is the tragedy of the PF. Now they took that money and did not invest it, they consumed it, banadya ndalama zabantu zama bondholders. Bana ziika mu ma roads Yodula ya poor quality. Bana gula ma fire tenders, bana gula ma fertilizer yodula, bana gula ma VX yama ministers. That money did not work for the people of Zambia. Now, mwine wa ndalama afuna ndalama zake the PF government is saying ‘ndalama kulibe’. Can you now allow us not to pay you, mulindile imwe.’ (The PF misused the money given to them by the bondholders. They spent it on expensive, poor quality roads, fire tenders, expensive fertilizer, [and] they bought VX vehicles for ministers. And now the bondholders want their money back but the PF are saying there is no money, you will have to wait). If the bondholders say no to that, in fact even if the bondholders say yes to me in my own understanding, it comes to the same thing; there is no money in the economy,” Hichilema said

“It means negatively on the dollar Kwacha exchange rate, the Kwacha will depreciate, confidence mu market that this country can borrow money and pay will be destroyed, more pressure on the Kwacha against the dollar essential, more pressure on the investors who may have wanted to invest in this country. Even those who are in the country it means they will not want to invest more money to expand their businesses. What is the meaning of these measures? It means even the few jobs that are there may be lost, more unemployment, the reason the Kwacha is now K21 to a dollar is because of the shortage of foreign exchange arising from the mismanagement, misuse, theft including corruption in the use of kongole (credit). It means traders cannot trade, they cannot do their business, it means bana kugona na njala (children are sleeping hungry). There are different people who have provided debt in this country bondholders is only one, there are those who have provided debt, International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank, bilateral and private lenders it means these other lender will now realize that government has defaulted, it has no capacity, Zambia is bankrupt, they will also call for their loan and there will be a debt crisis which will lead to a financial crisis, which will lead the cost of goods. So Zambia is headed for trouble.”

Meanwhile, Hichilema charged that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) could not run free and fair elections.

“Essentially, we are talking about a failed system, a failed electoral commission, such an institution cannot deliver free and fair elections. They are actually prepared for a crisis. Moving the country from stability into a crisis. And an institution that is supposed to be an example of excellence is leading the country into a mess. And every citizen must register. The assessment whether they will manage after three weeks or not, we don’t have to wait for three weeks, they are failing already, they must correct these failures now so that every citizen registers as a voter. Why are they standing in the way of the will of the people? It is because it is a scheme the way they schemed gassing, those who schemed gassing, we don’t want another gassing lookalike. Let us say no, we will not allow ECZ to mess the country up. But even with all this, I am asking Zambians to push your way, no one needs to do us a favor, it’s our right. Let’s have machines in all polling stations and for more than 30 days,” said Hichilima.