PF vice-president Given Lubinda says it is unfortunate that President Hakainde Hichilema is attributing his delay in implementing his campaign promises to the 2021 budget.

Commenting on President Hichilema’s remarks that Zambians would be happy with the 2022 budget because UPND programmes would finally be introduced, Lubinda said it was clear that free education and other campaign promises would not be implemented.

“I want to advise President Hakainde Hichilema, that boza ibwelela (lies come back), he may think that his budget will not come, he may think that it is a dream, but next week, he will have no choice but to represent his budget. The Zambians will wait to see if his budget is going to have an increase in the allocation of education to allow children from nursery school to tertiary to receive free education. It is only one week so his lies will haunt him in a week’s time,” Lubinda said.

“My advice to him is that he should learn to be truthful, he should tell the people the truth. He already said ‘sorry, free education I meant access for all’, ulekutika (are you listening) Hakainde, I am also asking him ‘ulekutika’? You are changing exactly what you said. The people of Zambia are not so gullible that they are going to buy his lies all the time. You can cheat some people sometimes but you can’t cheat people all the time.”

He said it was unfortunate that President Hichilema was blaming the delay to implement government projects on the 2021 budget.

“You start governing the day you are sworn in, you start implementing your policies the day you are sworn in, that is how government operates. If Hakainde is blaming all his inactions, his failure to implement his policies on the remainder of the 2021 budget, the three months then you should also ask him how come he has managed to terminate contracts of civil servants and Permanent Secretaries? Were those permanent secretaries not budgeted for in the 2021 budget? How come he has been making some decisions and he is saying he can’t make other decisions?” Lubinda asked.

“He has now realised that the promises he was making to the Zambian people were totally misinformed. Let him just own up and say ‘I didn’t know what I was talking about, now that it has dawned on me, I apologise to the Zambians’. This is now a question of a reality check on Hakainde’s promises. He told Zambians that as soon as he is elected, the value of the Kwacha will increase, that you will buy a Dollar at K5. When Edgar Lungu left government, the Dollar was selling at K15 and now it is selling at K18. Unfortunately for him, he is postponing the problem.”

Lubinda said the UPND government would not implement the promises they made to the people through the 2022 budget.

“I want to assure him that it is not going to be long before the Zambian people realise that he is telling lie after lie. Now he wants to lie to the Zambian people that ‘you will see what the budget will say’, yet everybody knows that he will not achieve anything in his budget, he is not going to say free education in his budget, he is not going to reduce the price fertilizer in his budget, he is not going to increase the price of maize in his budget, he is not going to reduce the price of mealie meal in his budget. The earlier he apologises to the Zambian people for being elected on the basis of lies, the better,” said Lubinda

“Tell President Hakainde Hichilema that there has never been a year when the government has failed to pay farmers. We have paid farmers religiously every year that we were in government. There is no year when we failed to pay farmers. He must not cheat the people that there is no money to pay the farmers because there was an allocation in the budget for the purchase of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. His failure to pay farmers must not be blamed on the PF because we had budgeted for it and we had plans on how to raise the revenue to pay the farmers. The Zambian farmers must be told that had there not been a change of government, the PF government by now would have already finished buying all the maize from the farmers and would have paid all of them.”