RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba has claimed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UPND were in talks before the August elections and that’s why the programme was concluded in two months.

And Kabimba says the recent arrests of PF officials are tantamount to petty vengeance.

In an interview, Kabimba claimed that the IMF wanted a regime change in Zambia.

“I am also beginning to think that the IMF and UPND must have been in talks even before elections. I believe that the IMF was party to the regime change in Zambia and they already agreed how the package would look like. That is why they have been able to conclude this package quickly in two months. The IMF wanted a regime change in Zambia and that is why they didn’t want Lungu, they wanted HH because they already agreed on the way forward. While the UPND knew that PF was in talks with the IMF, they must have known the implications of an IMF programme. The implications of an IMF programme are standard. They tell you things like; freeze any salary increment, make sure that utility services charges are economic, they tell you things like increase the pump prices of fuel,” Kabimba said.

“They knew that this is what an IMF package is all about. But even when they had that knowledge, even against that background, they still went ahead and promised people that ‘UPND in government will make sure that the pump prices of fuel is reduced’. The reason they gave for that was that the PF had a lot of middlemen in the transportation of oil and that was the making the pump prices of fuel expensive and that they were going to get rid of the middlemen. Mr Hakainde at that time said electricity was a necessity, it was something that every Zambian must have and therefore he will make sure that the electricity tariffs are lower.”

Kabimba argued that nowhere in the world had the IMF package improved the cost of living.

“He promised a 1,500 increment across the board to all civil servants. He promised free education even as he knew that there was an imminent IMF package. He promised things that he very well knew that the IMF would never accept when they offered a country a programme. Nowhere in the world has the IMF package improved the cost of living of the people. Argentina borrowed US$45 billion form the IMF, today the cost of living in Argentina is higher than it was three years ago. There are street protests as a result of the IMF package,” he said.

And Kabimba said the recent arrests of PF officials were tantamount to petty vengeance.

“Anybody that steals money from the Zambian people must be punished. However, what we have seen so far is not a fight against corruption. Some of the arrests we have seen are tantamount to petty vengeance. For example, Davies Chama spent a number of days in police custody for an incident that happened in 2015, that is not corruption. (Stephen Kampyongo) spent a night at Woodlands Police Station for an incident that happened in 2016, that is not corruption. (Ronald) Chitotela and (Nickson) Chilangwa have been arrested and are being prosecuted for alleged damage to property that happened during the election in August. Where are the corrupt people?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Kabimba said the UPND should be punished in 2026 for lying to the people about reducing the cost of living.

“With these measures from the IMF, there is no way the cost of living is going to be reduced. If anything, it will be worse than it was under PF, it is a bad package. What is mostly important is how a group of men and women that knew the truth of such a package and the consequences of such a package and the impact of such a package on the cost of living of the Zambian people, could go round the country and lie to the Zambian people that they were going to reduce the cost of living. That calls into question the leadership and integrity of the UPND team. We are yet to see more lies coming up,” said Kabimba.

“They have no sense of remorse to apologize to the Zambian people. If anything, they are justifying their lies. Mealie-meal prices have not gone down; prices of essential commodities have increased. My appeal to the Zambian people is that 2026 is not that far away from today. UPND must be punished in 2026 for its lies. And Zambian people must make sure that UPND does not go beyond one term in office. Because we can’t have a group of liars in the leadership of a nation.”