Hakainde Hichilema says only a fool can accuse him of being behind the privatisation of the mines.
Speaking on Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk programme yesterday, Hichilema, the UPND president, said he was asked to describe assets for the government that were later sold.
Hichilema said a lot of lawyers helped the government in formulating sales and purchase agreements for the mines.
“You go to a lawyer to say help me to draw a sale and purchase agreement and a lawyer does that, which many lawyers did in the privatisation programme, then you sell your asset wrongly then you go to a lawyer to say ‘you lawyer why did you draw a contract for me?’ You must be a fool really, a big fool for that matter, not a small fool, actually a big fool because you can’t blame a guy like me who described your assets and then you went and sold them and say you were responsible. I did not sell any mine, the facts are there, you don’t have to be clever to understand that,” Hichilema said.
“All I am saying is that I never sold any mine, facts are there. I have said this several times, only people who don’t read, people who are ignorant, people who just want to blame somebody for things that they did not do. I have never worked for government, the privatisation programme was an MMD programme, it was not a Hakainde programme. I am a businessman, I work for myself. If you ask me to organise your assets; land and buildings, current assets, fixed assets, that’s my job, that’s what I trained [to do] and then I give you that organised way and then you decid to sell your assets, you can’t blame me.”
And Hichilema said people were suffering because there was a vacuum at State House.
“There’s a vacuum in the presidency, there’s a vacuum in the leadership, that’s why people are suffering. That’s why they are exporting maize they think of feeding maize to local millers so that we increase the supply and reduce the prices. There is no leadership, there is a vacuum. That is why there is violence; that’s why our women get stripped in front of a Vice-President. There’s no leadership and I have no apologies to make,” said Hichilema.
“There’s no debate that PF has failed, the leadership of PF has taken us into debt. The leadership of PF has caused tremendous budget deficit, electricity deficit, trade deficit. There is a food crisis and high food prices… that’s why mealie-meal is costing K120. So you need to run the economy well, you need to support businesses. You need a business person, simple, to run the economy. Let’s campaign and work together. Aba bantu tibakwapula mu (we are whipping these people in the) first round.”