GOVERNMENT Chief Whip Stafford Mulusa says UPND is a responsible government, with a serious President, arguing that some holidays don’t even make sense now because people just want to work.

And Mulusa says Zambians must be happy that they have a President who is not a player and is marketing Zambia to the outside world.

Recently, Kabushi PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo said the President’s trip to South Africa for the Mining Indaba was demeaning to his office as the event was meant for ministers.

“As someone who attended the Indaba as Copperbelt Minister on a number of occasions, I wish to place it on record that having an entire President at the Indaba for four days is not particularly a good way of managing the President’s time. From my experience, as important as the Mining Indaba is to mining development in Africa and across the world, having a President at this event for four days which is meant for Ministers at best is demeaning the office Mr. Hichilema occupies. For a man who campaigned heavily on prudent utilization of public resources, spending four days in a very expensive city does not show frugality,” stated Lusambo on his Facebook page.

But in an interview, Mulusa said the President’s four-day trip was something which would triple investment in the country.

He added that the UPND government was not carelessly spending money by having huge delegations on trips as was the case with the PF.

“There is always a budget to whatever the Head of State does, and it is not like they used to do at the time of PF where they would send musicians ahead so that when they are in America, they are in another country, now they take over all the hotels. They start dancing, they start carelessly spending money, it is not the case with our new dawn government. I think we are very responsible and when we say we should be there two days, three days, it is seriously business. It is not taking more than 200 people to go and entertain, go shopping at the expense of the government, it is not like that,” Mulusa said.

“So these are serious programmes that have been lined up [for] the President to meet very influential and possible investors in this country and he should spend time there. He is advertising, he is our first marketer, he is our manager running this country, so if he is there for four days, Zambians must be happy that we have a President who is not a player like we have had before. So he is a serious President who has put up programmes of production, that’s why even some holidays don’t even make sense now, because people want to work work work. So the four days is something that will even triple the investment in this country.”

He said the mining Indaba was a huge platform where the President could market the country and attract a lot of investments.

“You have heard the announcement of FQM, they are investing 1.3 billion dollars in Kansanshi, single entity, alone. So we need more, we need more investments. It never happened under the PF because they didn’t know how to move about investments, how to attract the foreign direct investments, they didn’t know. That’s why they continued borrowing unnecessarily and now we are suffering because they carelessly managed this country. That’s why a lot of them now have property more than the government. It’s not a circus, this is serious business of running a country and we expect right minds to comment objectively on the activities happening in the new dawn government,” he said.

“The mining indaba is the biggest event around the world for investors in any country and our President is the keynote speaker there. As a new dawn, we have come up with a target of reaching 3 million tons of copper production in the next 10 years. So there is need to attract a lot of investments in the mining sector and the trip for the President is very critical in terms of marketing our country Zambia and of course to achieve our target of 3 million tons in the next 10 years. If you hear people (Bowman) speak like that, you should know that they have nothing to say because they don’t know the impact of that production target in a country like Zambia.”

Mulusa added that Lusambo should realise that Zambia was in better hands now.

“He should realise that Zambia is now in better hands. And competent people, the people that are going to run this country with the full expectations of Zambians and we are monitoring, we are gaining grounds and the Zambians are able to see despite the high prices in the country, Zambians are able to monitor [that] their economy is recovering at a slow pace but faster. So in the next two years, my brother Lusambo will have nothing to talk about and I don’t think he might still be in politics. I’m sure he might even be going back to his business because he’s got nothing to offer in terms of politics, there’s nothing of substance coming out of his mouth nowadays, nothing,” said Mulusa