IKELENG’I UPND aspiring member of parliament Elijah Muchima says Hakainde Hichilema will not steal from Zambians when ushered into office.

Commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s remarks that Zambians should not vote for “thieves” who have never held any government position, Muchima said Hichilema had been a leader for many years and that his skills were better than some people who had been in government before.

“Where can a person who is outside the government steal from? From his own field? From his own corporation which he has built with integrity? That is why they can’t pin HH because he has grown his business from nothing. Even if he is vying for this office, he is not going to steal, but those who have been poor when they are put in office, they will go to amass wealth, stealing from people who put them in office. A leader is a leader, he doesn’t need to be in a political lineage. A leader can be from the corporate world, from anywhere,” Muchima said.

“HH has been a leader for so many years. You cannot want him to become a branch chairman, he is above that. His skills are better than some of those people that have been in government before. That is why the government is rotten, this is not the way you run a government, there is a lot of corruption. This is not the governance I can admire.”

Muchima also lamented that the PF government restricted the opposition party’s campaigns.

“We cannot rely on a government that does not protect the rights of the citizens, that does not protect the institutions of Zambia. How do you start restricting people when it is campaign time? That is absurd! Zambia is built on high democratic principles but what we are seeing today is unfortunate, very laughable. We need proper management that can put the rights of the citizens first. Actions speak louder than words, when Levy Mwanawasa took over from (Frederick) Chiluba, we saw his actions, we saw discipline. He started disciplining his own house,” said Muchima.

“Look at what is happening with PF cadres today, they can do anything. Is that a management to admire? Not at all. People are fed up, that is why they want to vote in masses. They are going for a change because it is not an admirable administration where you start restricting others. Elections have been held in other countries, without restricting the opposition.”

Speaking in Kapisha, Chingola, last week, President Lungu said he had experience because he had served in government.

“Ba mukukulu aba abaleisa ukweba ati bakachita bwino nga baisa salwa. Bambi tekwesha! Pantu tababombapo wu councilor, tababombapo wu mayor. Kuti ateka shani icalo? Ifintu kufwaya ukusambilila first, waishiba efyo ulechita. Naliko minister, nali MP nalishiba ifichitika. So abaleisa balebepa ubufi. (Don’t believe thieves saying they will perform well when they are elected. Don’t even try them because some of them have never served as a councillor, mayor or even a member of parliament. How will they lead? You first have to learn, then you will know what you are supposed to do. I once served as a member of parliament as well as a minister. So don’t believe those who are lying to you),” said President Lungu.