PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says government will in the next few days announce the first national asset recovery.
And President Hichilema says temptations in Office of the President are huge, adding that he now understands why people get corrupt in his position.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has disclosed that about 20 senior party officials have asked him for jobs at DMMU after seeing how rich the previous office bearers had become.
Speaking during a mass celebration of founder UPND leader Anderson Mazoka in Lusaka, Saturday, President Hichilema said recovering national assets was not meant to injure any Zambians but to give back what belonged to the people.
“We must serve the people of Zambia no matter how much little money we are left with as we reconstruct this economy, we should use the little money we have left, having most of it stolen. I want to announce here inadvertently that we will announce the first asset recovery in a few days time. The idea is not to injure Zambians, the idea is to give Caesar what is Caesar’s. That’s what we shared with that man, that first we work for ourselves, then we work for the people and what belongs to the people belongs to the people,” he said.
And President Hichilema said he now understood why people became corrupt after becoming President.
“At 55 years old, he had made his family understand the importance of hard work. He was 55 years old, work your numbers. He understood that first, one must work for themselves and the family, then you can go and work for the public. You don’t understand that it would give you a lot of diarrhea and headaches every time you are faced with issues in public office, because the temptations are huge. I have seen them already, I have seen them. I said now I understand why people got corrupt in this presidency,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema disclosed that 20 senior UPND officials were jostling for jobs at DMMU.
“It took us 23 years because we stuck with what we believed was right. It does take time sometimes. Children of Israel, 40 years, groaning and complaining as UPND members are groaning now. ‘Give us the jobs! Throw out everybody who was in the previous government, give us the jobs’. I understand you. Some say ‘what were we fighting for?’ 20 senior people have come to me that they want to be employed. I said alright, which job do you want? They said DMMU, 20 people. Your guess is as good as mine, why they single out DMMU,” he said.
“Why do you think 10 senior, 20 senior, 50 senior members of UPND want to go to DMMU only? They have seen the one who was at DMMU building mansions at the expense of vulnerable children who are not in school. Their assumption is that this is the time to go there and be like that individual. Ikona man, ikona, no! We have to make DMMU a noble function, not a platform to take resources away from the people of Zambia. And even if it means I will offend my colleagues in the UPND, I am going to offend you to correct the country. Get the job of DMMU leader to serve the people of Zambia when they are in disaster not to enrich yourself. I stand by what Kambela said. We seek public office to serve people. I know where he is lying there, he is proud of us, I know.”
President Hichilema described Mazoka as a tough person who did not believe in failure and always wanted to work for others.
“To liberate the country and all of its people, not some, is all you remember in those dark moments and that memory, that realization that you have worked for the people, you served the people, makes you strong. That’s what Kambela was. Against extreme adversity he was able to continue. Some lessons for us all. He was able to continue for others. Search our souls a moment, how many times do we say I’m working for others? Just a second, reflect in your mind,” he said.
He wondered how some people expected UPND to correct the damage create in 10 years, in less than two months.
“We have only been in office for one month and three weeks but the people expect us to correct the damage of 10 years in one month and three weeks. We are studying the situation very quickly, we are fast learners, we have understood the environment we have gotten into. We are lining our guts in a role so that we can deal with them systematically. We cannot remove all the Zambians we found in government. Some of them were abused, they were abused by the previous government. It’s time for us now to normalize their lives. Do not misunderstand me, we are effecting changes and some of you will take the roles you want but when you take those roles, remember to use those roles to serve the people of Zambia, that’s what that man lying there stood for,” he said.
He said in the next five years, his government would have achieved a good percentage of what was promised during campaigns.
“I challenged the media and said get a piece of paper and a pen, start marking what we said in our campaigns and start ticking one by one. In five years time, you would have passed us by a good percentage because that’s what service to the people is all about. Education for all will take us some time but we will continue walking towards that objective. We are walking the steps, be patient. You are used to haphazardness. Look please, thought processes will serve you better,” said President Hichilema.
“I come from the village, I knew nobody in town when I came to the university, nobody, and God, through you people has allowed me to serve in this chair. I am going to serve God’s people to the best of my ability, ushering, remembering that man there and all of you. That’s a commitment, that’s a pledge. We are there for others, me for you and you for me.”
And speaking at the same event, Mazoka’s widow, Mutinta, thanked President Hichilema for realising Anderson Mazoka’s vision of the party.
“Your presence here is a clear demonstration of the love you have for the Mazoka family and the United Party for National Development family. It is a clear testimony of the man and founding member Anderson Kambela Mazoka’s life touched a number of lives in a number of ways. Following the resounding victory for the UPND on 12th August, 2021 it is only a pity that we gather in memory of Anderson. He was not just part of UPND, he was indeed UPND itself,” said Mutinta.
“Mr Hakainde Hichilema as the seventh Republican President has subdued the fears that we had been shedding and the sad memories that we have nursed for over two decades. Let me pay special gratitude to you, your Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, since the demise of the first president, the UPND continued to grow in numbers and popularity. The UPND is now the governing party in Zambia. Thank you because it was due to your hard work, resilience and all that it took for UPND today to be in power.”
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the children, Macenje Mazoka described Anderson Mazoka as a principled and loving father who always showed up for his children.