UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has challenged the Bank of Zambia to explain why there are huge sums of money being flashed around which do not correspond to any economic activity.
And Hichilema has charged that the Cyber Security Bill is a tool which PF wants to use to muzzle the media and shut down internet.
Speaking during a press briefing, Tuesday, Hichilema said it was shocking that while the country was broke, some ministers were using cash as pillows.
“Bank of Zambia, where is this cash coming from? Mr Governor of the Central Bank, Mr deputy governor operations, these are the people that are supposed to control money circulation, to moderate money circulation. If you are a Governor worth your salt, where is this cash coming from? Why haven’t you reported to the Drug Enforcement Commission, to the Anti-Corruption Commission? You as Governor of the Central Bank, why haven’t you reported to law enforcement officers because this is blood money, this is money that is not supported by any genuine employment, any genuine business. ZRA, these are the people you must visit, not genuine businesses. I ask this question, Central Bank, you are responsible for currency issuance amongst other responsibilities. You are responsible for printing money and I take it you are printing money, this is confirmation that you are printing money unless you can explain to the people of Zambia why you have taken no action,” he said.
“Number two, you are responsible to monitor the amount of money in circulation. How come genuine businesses have no money? How come genuine suppliers are not being paid, suppliers of goods and services to government are paid very late, how come retirees are not paid on time, some die before they get paid but yet a small number of PF thugs in the name of PF cadres and some calling them ministers, calling them leaders. You are not ministers worth your salt, you are not leaders worth your salt, you are just crooks, you are just thieves.”
He insisted that the huge sums of money being splashed around were criminal.
“You are printing money which is not backed by the economic activity. How? I am talking about there is no commensurate production of goods and services to support this currency, these bank notes that you issue, that you are supposed to circulate, you should monitor the money in circulation…the Bank of Zambia is supposed to control money supply, money in circulation so that they can manage important variables such as inflation. Our citizens are surprised why inflation has increased, no, this is inflationary. This is not just criminal money, this is not just corruption money, this is inflationary money. The money supply has gone loose, who is supposed to monitor the money supply? The Bank of Zambia. Bank notes in circulation are loose, used for crime, for violence, for abductions, who is supposed to control that, bank of Zambia. Have you reported to the police? No, have you reported to DEC? No. Have you reported to Anti-Corruption [Commission], no. If you haven’t reported, you are the one abetting this cash moving around,” Hichilema said.
He wondered why ministers were using cash as pillows when government was broke.
“All of a sudden, we have a disease called cash. In an economy where there is no money, cash that is supposed to be paying civil servants on time, cash that’s supposed to pay students decent meal allowances, decent student funding is not there but all of a sudden, a number of PF thugs and PF thugs in the name of ministers are using cash as their pillows, as their seats in their cars. At my age, I have never seen this phenomenon,” Hichilema said.
“Where is the leadership? It doesn’t exist. It’s not there that’s why things are happening like this.”
He said he would write to the Bank of Zambia to respond to allegations of printing money.
“Bank of Zambia, I am writing a letter today to answer to the people of Zambia, the allegations people are making that there is printing of money because you can see it. But under our government, there will be proper monetary policy, proper fiscal policy and the two will be managed together because if you distort them, you have a negative effect like what is going on now,” he said.
And Hichilema charged that PF was trying to muzzle the media and clamp down on social media with the Cyber Crime Bill.
“Cyber Security Bill, this bill is designed to cut the media. PF have already closed too many media organisations. We haven’t forgotten about The Post, we haven’t forgotten about Prime Television, we have not forgotten about the harassment that has gone to Komboni radio, harassment that has gone to many other radio stations. So the PF now want to shut the internet, the only remaining free media, they want to shut, what are they hiding? Violence, abductions, what else, corruption so they can flout cash, they can take away people’s girlfriends…media is the fourth estate, stop being greedy PF, you already control the executive and you are abusing it, you control parliament, you are abusing it, you control the judiciary, you are abusing it. Now, you want to completely finish the fourth estate, the media. Finshi mutina, muyopa chani (what are you scared of)?” he ASKED.
“Now, the only mouth piece that the Zambians have, social media, you want to shut it down. Stop it please. We have known for long time that you are dictators, you are autocrats, but you have now crossed the line. Leave, do away with this cyber security bill, there are enough laws to deal with criminals. Just enforce those laws fairly, this cannot be used as an excuse, leave citizens to talk to each other, don’t gag them. Leave it please, we want to find a viable media after 12th of August.”
Meanwhile, Hichilema said the PF would not be allowed to rig the August elections.
“You can see in the numbers, how PF, using the ECZ, attempted to cheat, depressing so called opposition strongholds and pumping up their so called strongholds. The good news is that the opposition, the UPND strongholds is the whole country. You will not manage to rig the coming elections. Citizens will not allow you, we will not allow you to rig. The best way of stopping this manipulation, citizens, you are the campaign managers for change,” said Hichilema.