UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has criticized the PF’s continued lies and bad agricultural policies which amount to playing with people’s lives, and regrets that farmers in Eastern province were smuggling maize into Mozambique because the Zambian government could not assist in opening up markets there.
Speaking last evening when he met a group of farmers from Eastern province who complained about PF government’s poor agriculture policies and late payments Mr. Hichilema demanded for further reductions or even zero-rating taxes on agriculture equipment as well as re-introduce fuel and crop subsidies. He reiterated that the UPND in government will set the floor price for agriculture produce before the farming season so that farmers can plan properly and grow crops knowing the minimum price.
“As a true believer in God, one thing I will not do is attempting to win an election based on falsehoods. I would rather tell the truth and lose an election than win on falsehoods. My integrity and peace of mind are very important to me. The consequences of telling lies and winning using underhand methods is what we are seeing now under the PF where people are even more depressed because they were told lies just for the vote,” said Mr. Hichilema.
He said that he now fully understood the geographic landscape of each region of Zambia and the comparative advantage of each area than when he was in the private sector, adding that Lake Mweru which was a massive water body can house various activities alongside the local people that are fishing in the lake. He admired the landscape and vegetation which he said can even house a bigger sugar plantation than Nakambala and even take advantage of the DRC market.
At the meeting he also presented the UPND manifesto which was anchored on four pillars namely:- Prudent economic management, Agriculture and food security, Education, and Health. He also said that the ongoing road construction projects which the PF were boasting about were MMD-initiated and were only benefitting the PF corrupt clique at the expense of ordinary Zambians who will have to repay the loans.
He said that UPND would rather borrow to revamp productive sectors so that money generated can be used to build, rehabilitate, and maintain roads without accruing more debt for the country.
And when asked about the condition of ailing President Sata, Mr. Hichilema said he was as blank as anybody else other than the official government position that the President was enjoying good health.
He has reiterated that he was heavily constrained to comment on the health of President Michael Sata or indeed any citizens because such issues were a preserve of someone’s family and doctors.
Mr. Hichilema said as a true believer, he always prays for that good health of President Sata and the entire leadership of the country that they enjoy good health even when people do not agree with them politically and the way they are running the country.