By Clayson Hamasaka
Chief Communications Specialist
The press conference, led by former President Edgar Lungu and attended by a consortium of opposition leaders, showcases the current peaceful and tolerant atmosphere created by the UPND Government under President Hakainde Hichilema.
Less than two and a half years ago, such a press conference would have been disrupted by PF slogan-chanting, machete-wielding thugs, resulting in bloodshed. Yesterday’s event, however, highlighted the prevailing peace, ultimately benefiting the Zambian citizens—a cause for which we fought.
The primary loser in the press conference was Edgar Lungu. Wherever the former President appears is now potentially designated as a disaster area. It’s time for Mr. Lungu to act like an honest, grown-up man, showing remorse and shame for his actions. He must cease being paranoid when questioned about his party’s criminal past.
Mr. Lungu should refrain from insulting the collective intelligence of Zambians by urging them to ‘move on.’ This advice is inappropriate in the aftermath of a criminally contracted debt that has stifled economic development. Instead of focusing on rebuilding the economy, President Hichilema, due to PF and Mr. Lungu’s reckless borrowing, has spent two years untangling the country from this unsustainable debt through global networking.
It is crucial to ask honest questions about who led us to our current situation. These are the same individuals loudly complaining about the high cost of living while gleefully mocking the slow resolution of the debt they accumulated.
Former President Lungu’s insinuation about attacking the character of his successor’s upbringing is regrettable. President Hakainde Hichilema holds an office on behalf of twenty million Zambians and deserves respect.
For the benefit of our citizens and the kind of debts created by Mr. Lungu, in the energy sector alone, Zambia currently has a local debt of US$1 billion owed to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). What Edgar Lungu and his criminal enterprise were doing was telling OMCs to just bring in petroleum products on credit which they were not ready to pay. Now President Hakainde Hichilema and his UPND government has to pay.
In the infrastructure projects, the Zambian government is owing contractors US$8 billion as local debt. And most of these are projects that were being given to PF cadres without any experience in construction and there is nothing to show on the ground. And Mr Lungu and his cohorts today wants the country to just ‘move on’ without referring to his previous regime.
What Mr. Lungu is advising the current government is to just ignore all those nkongoles by not paying the people owed and just ‘move on’. From this reckless statement of just ‘move on’, one can see the typical PF mentality leadership in government. It was like “bane kabiyeni musende fye inkongole fikaisova. We shall just ignore the debts”.
Edgar Lungu’s reasoning is a typical tarven mentality of ‘mpeleniko tubili nalelo kalipila mailo’. And when tomorrow comes ‘ati ibaleniko fye naiwe’, just move on.