Opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has advised the ruling PF not to bring their political tricks and lies (donchi kubeba) to people’s lives through increased mealie meal prices in the country.
Mr. Hichilema said the PF government should take their political failures and games elsewhere and not on sensitive things such as food provision, health and education.
Speaking after he visited and toured Lusaka’s Kabwata market where he went to buy a bag of 25kg mealie meal at K75,000, Mr. Hichilema said it was surprising that only a few months ago, meal mealie was fetching around K45,000 but now the prices had escalated to an alarming levels beyond people’s reach.
He said it was clear that someone was again trying to do the poor Zambians another ‘donchi kubeba’, by playing with their food and health care provision.
Mr. Hichilema wondered what was so hard for the PF to have maintained or even reduced the price of the staple food especially after three successive bumper harvest seasons the country had been recording.
He said the problem with the PF government was playing ‘donchi kubeba’ on everything and wondered when they will settle down and govern the country.
Mr. Hichilema said it was clear that someone authorised the export of maize and probably pocketed the money without looking at the nation’s consumption demand levels.
He said it was clear that even the highly politicised minimum wage increase was no longer making sense to the intended beneficiaries as prices of essential commodities had gone far beyond people’s monthly budgets.
And Kabwata marketeers and traders rushed to Mr. Hichilema’s entourage and bitterly complained that business was hard under the PF regime as there was no money that they were promised.
The mob the rushed to greet Mr. Hichilema attracted the police who threatened to arrest him if continued with his busines in Kabwata.
But cheering the marketeers ushered Mr. Hichilema to their stands and told off the police saying they were ready to be arrested with him if they dared to disrupt him.
The marketeers shouted at the police saying ‘kabiye uko kwine kuli ba Sata benu babufi nga mulelya bwino (Just go to your Sata if you are eating properly).
Ifwe ba Sata balitubepa after kubavotela baliya tatubamona nokubamona, nomba tuyesheko nabambi (Us Mr. Sata cheated us after voting for him we don’t even see him).
And Mr. Hichilema wondered what was criminal for him to go to the market and buy mealie meal and other essential commodities for his home like anybody else.
He advised the police command to concentrate on the rising crime levels in the country and leave him and other opposition leaders alone.
He observed that police were always quick to find heavily armed personnel to threaten opposition leaders and civil society organisations instead of policing crime in Zambia.
Mr. Hichilema said he was however aware that it was just a few cadres in the top police command working on orders from Mr. Sata as the rest of police officers in the country were also opposed to what was happening in the country.
He said unlike in the past when security personnel were receiving mealie meal and other monthly rationing, this time they are also feeling the pinch as the money given to them was not even enough.