UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says he has no time to talk about Nalikwanda UPND member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa and his Solwezi East counterpart Teddy Kasonso as he would rather focus on making sure that Bill 10 is not brought back to the House in its current form.
And Hichilema wondered what type of “animals” the PF are if they are able to benefit from Mukula trade at the expense of ordinary Zambians.
Meanwhile, Hichilema says by winning a ward election in Lupososhi, the UPND has proved that there is no PF bedroom in the country.
On Tuesday, Lungwangwa and Kasonso defied the party position on the Constitution Amendment Bill number 10 of 2019 by refusing to walk out of parliament after acting Minister of Justice Stephen Kampyongo moved a notice of motion to have the Bill readmitted on the order paper.
But speaking when he addressed former ZSIC retrenches who met him at the party secretariat, Hichilema said he didn’t have time to discuss his rebel MPs.
“There is no issue of talking about those two, Lungwangwa and Kasonso, we don’t have time for that. What he have time for is to make sure that they don’t bring this bill again in the form it is, that’s the unity we are looking for. We don’t have time to think negatively, we have time to think positively and we want to build on these numbers of Independents, UPND and NDC so we can have more MPs opening their eyes to do right by the people, to be on the right side of history and Bill 10 and into the election. That’s it. If I start applying my mind on Lungwangwa and Kasonso, I will waste my time. You should watch my behavior, when people start making noise about Hakainde and UPND, I keep quiet, I even work harder and win a ward in Lupososhi, that’s what we do,” Hichilema said.
“As UPND, do we feel betrayed by the two? Let me repeat what I said, I want to thank the four independent members of parliament, I want to thank the NDC Roan member of parliament, I want to thank the UPND members of parliament who objected to Bill 10. Because the Constitutional Court granted PF the right to bring Bill 10, only these MPs stopped for now, temporarily, Bill 10, why shouldn’t we thank them because they are giving us an opportunity to stop greedy PF members, including Lungu himself.”
And Hichilema said the PF was being unfair to ordinary citizens by engaging in illegal Mukula trade.
“You have seen the headline today [Friday] in the Diggers! Mukula trees, they ban ordinary people like you, instead of you retrenches, retirees, dealing in Mukula, people in State House and ministers, they take your license, the ban Mukula exports, secretly they are using ZAFFICO, they are exporting Mukula, what sort of animals are these? What we have been warning people about in the past has today been revealed in detail and brought to the fore. What we read in this report is exactly what we already knew about this Mukula smuggling scam, but the testimonies from the government officials, smugglers and their Chinese handlers contained in the circulating video are staggering and heartbreaking accounts of recklessness and criminal impunity by people who have been entrusted to govern our country. You see, we will do the difference ourselves, Mukula license must not go to any Chinese or foreigner, Mukula license will go to Zambians including retrenches and retirees but manage it so that we don’t finish it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hichilema said winning a ward by-election in Lupososhi was a sign that there is no PF bedroom in the country.
“And thank you to the campaign team in Lupososhi, twatotela mukwai (thank you very much), ta kwaba bedroom ya ba PF (there is nothing like the PF’s bedroom), takwaba. Fyakale ifyo, takwaba (those are things of the past, there is nothing like that). That’s where our minds are to show that we are one Zambia, one nation, one nation, one people. I am emotionally, deep here in my heart, my chest, my head, my mind every day I dream, time is near for us to help the people of Zambia, time is nearing, all of the people of Zambia. Don’t be afraid,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema also said retirees were suffering because the PF did not care about the welfare of citizens.
“In South Africa, public issues of this nature, investment, retirement benefits, I am sure you are following now South African Airways issues, the financial situation there, the public enterprises, engaging workers, engaging different people so there is a dedicated ministry. But really, here, we should be able to do that as well. The issue is that there is simply no interest in the welfare of people like these and others in this country by those in public office, that’s where the challenge is. Even the appropriation fund you are talking about, it will not result in payment of ZSIC retirees, retrenchment benefits, where there is no interest in the welfare of the people as it is in this country. I think that’s where the problem is. So it’s a lack of interest and therefore, in the process, because it is a lack of interest, money is abused and used for different things instead of to be used on colleagues like these that is where the problem is,” said Hichilema.