PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says the process to recover stolen government assets is in motion and that those involved in the plunder of resources will soon cry victim.

And President Hichilema says he is committed to ensuring that laws which facilitate gender are reviewed.

In a statement shared on his Facebook page, Thursday, President Hichilema said he met with OCiDA members led by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, whom he assured that there would be no sacred cow in the fight against corruption.

“This morning we were joined at State House by senior citizens of our country under the umbrella of Our Civic Duty Association (OCIDA), an organisation that promotes good governance and economic development for all and led by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu. During the meeting, we stated that the corruption crusade is actually in effect and that there shall be no sacred cows,” President Hichilema said.

“We also stated that the process to recover all stolen government assets is in motion and that sooner than later if not already, those involved in the plunder of public resources are and will be already crying victim. In recovering the stolen assets, we will need every hand and support. And once all these resources are recovered, our people will rejoice and we will channel all this stolen wealth to developing the country for the betterment of all our citizens.”

President Hichilema expressed hope that the Judiciary would expeditiously deal with matters relating to corruption, as government was in a hurry to develop the nation.

“However, we will not use a political hand in this fight against corruption but will instead allow institutions mandated to do so to pursue these crimes independently. We therefore call on all Zambians to support them by any means necessary. We also reiterated that those who will be found wanting will be taken through the set rules and laws and that no one should be arrested before investigations are done, and that when they are arrested if the cases will be bondable or bailable, this should be made available. We further expressed our hope that the Judiciary must expeditiously be dealing with these matters because we are in a hurry to develop the nation but we will be methodical and systematic in the way we shall run the affairs of our country,” he said.

“During the meeting, we also stated that we are resolved to ensuring that national resources are distributed fairly, equitably and across the country and that during our budget, we will ensure that decentralisation of resources is done and this will be superintendent upon by constituencies and officers to handle this will not be drawn from the national headquarters as that would be another source of corruption among others.”

President Hichilema also assured that issues which were not clear in the Constitution like the third term, would be amended to make it clear so that no President overstays in office.

“On the electoral processes raised by the senior citizens, just like during our address to Parliament, our being in State House is largely due to the youths out there who we are now calling as a ‘New generation of the Liberation Struggle’ and pioneers of their future. We have put in place expeditious plans for jobs, business opportunities, education and quality health care services for all and in a matter of time, this will be actualised. Under this score, we also stated that whilst in office, we will ensure an independent electoral body,” President Hichilema said.

“Meanwhile on matters related to the country’s constitution as raised by the senior citizens, we emphatically stated that this will be looked at and that issues that are not clear and eventually leading to a sitting Head of State going for a third term, will be amended to make it clear and strict that a sitting Head of State should only run as per the Constitution requirement and that’s two terms only.”

Meanwhile, President Hichilema said the process to amend the constitution would be a consultative one.

“We also stated that under this exercise, we will ask you, the citizens, on what should be contained in the constitution and that we will not in any way go the direction of the past Bill 10. This will be a consultative exercise. However, we did underscore that top on our agenda is now job creation, business opportunities, education and quality health care services for all and paramount to these also is the lowering of the cost of living,” said President Hichilema.

“We are firmly committed to delivering the much-desired change for all and in a matter of time, this will begin to be felt and indeed seen. We remain grateful to all of you Zambians out there for this opportunity you gave us and all your concerns are being methodically and systematically receiving the much needed attention and we are optimistic that the benefits will at least be pleasing to all.”

And in another statement, President Hichilema said he had met the women’s movement and assured them of his commitment to advance the cause of women in leadership.

“This afternoon we met the Non Governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Chairperson Madam Mary Silavwe Mulenga and discussed a wide range of issues affecting the Nation. These issues included women participation in decision making. We stated that we remain committed to ensuring that more women are put in key strategic positions. This is the reason we have a woman Vice President, the first woman Speaker of the National Assembly and her Deputy, also a woman. Additionally, the UPND has appointed a woman as deputy Chief Whip, Honourable Princess Kasune. This a demonstration of our commitment to gender diversity,” stated President Hichilema.

“Women participation in politics has been hampered by the hostile environment previously and this is the reason we are examining the relevant laws to ensure that women can take the stage on the political front without being physically and emotionally abused. This is also the reason we vowed that politics of violence will be a thing of the past. This will make the political environment friendly for women participation. We believe that gender diversity is important in national development. The proposal made by the NGOCC to include more women in leadership as we pursue gender parity, will be expeditiously dealt with. We also understand their concerns about the merged and removed Ministry of Gender but we also believe that elevating Gender to the Vice and President’s Office will give it the necessary attention and political will. Thus my commitment to ensure that laws that facilitate gender are reviewed.”