DEFENCE Minister Davies Chama has cautioned Zambians that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not a messiah who can rescue citizens even if he were to be elected Republican President.

During the official opening of the UPND general conference in Lusaka, Sunday, Hichilema said he was ready to rescue Zambians, but that the power was in the hands of the electorate to change their circumstances by electing the opposition party into office.

But in an interview, Chama said Hichilema was only trying to deceive Zambians by claiming that he could save them when he was no messiah.

“Mr Hichilema is deceiving Zambians, he is a deceiver, he is not an honest person. He is a liar for the following reasons. He cannot say, ‘he will save Zambians,’ he is not a messiah. World-over, we have so many presidents; so many prime ministers; so many chancellors, have they rescued every citizen in their countries? It’s not possible. HH runs companies, has he rescued every worker working for him? He has a family, he has brothers, sisters, cousins…Has he rescued them from poverty, unemployment because they are poor. Then, we come to the organisation that he is running, the UPND. The UPND has a lot of members, they are in shackles, they are in poverty! Has he rescued them, has he demonstrated that he can? Then, is his private life; there are records that he was among those who privatised the mining companies. Did he rescue anyone during that time whilst he was in employment? The answer is no. So, he should not deceive Zambians. You know, recently when Mopani investors (Glencore Plc) pulled out, he made a statement that, ‘the decision taken by the government to move in and protect the workers was wrong and that they should look for investors’,” Chama said.

“The investors who mistreat Zambians are what Mr HH wants. So, he can deceive a few Zambians, but not everyone. It’s a lie. I’m telling you the PF government has come to create an enabling environment for the people and only Zambians can rescue themselves. Let no politician tell you that, ‘when I come, I will come and change your life’ in their individual capacity, that’s a lie, that’s not possible. So, HH should not lie to Zambians that he will ‘save anyone,’ that’s a lie of the highest order! It’s not possible. That’s why you will have to interrogate statements that are made by politicians. Have you ever heard of a constitution in the world where an individual can only leave as party president when he ruled a country for two terms? Have you ever heard? But it’s happening here. It’s weird. And all those so-called intellectuals accept whatever he says? You know, I am a member of parliament and those guys from the UPND can seriously interrogate government policy in Parliament, criticise it vigorously, but when this guy is making statements, they don’t interrogate them.”

Chama, who is also PF deputy national chairperson, added that Hichilema’s statement got him infuriated because it was too deceptive.

“I don’t know what happens, is it because it’s their party president? So, if he is going to be losing for the next coming years like he will be losing, he will continue to be (UPND party) president? It’s laughable! You know, I don’t normally speak like this, in a high voice, but liars infuriate me! What type of a political party is that? That’s why perhaps president (Edith) Nawakwi of FDD may be correct when she says, ‘he probably wants this thing (Republican Presidency) to protect himself. Saturnia Pension Fund, former BP workers are languishing today and from his own mouth, the money is in an offshore account. He did not rescue any of those former BP workers and this is the person who says, ‘he will rescue the entire Zambia?’ It is laughable! I’m speaking like this; I have never spoken like this with my voice very high, but deceivers and liars really set me off balance! I can see that Zambians are going to land themselves in deeper troubles because of desperation. They shouldn’t be desperate over this person because they’ll land themselves in deeper trouble,” said Chama.