ZAMBIA has lost US$700 million in the last six years because of unplanned presidential by-elections as a result of the death of two sitting presidents and that is why the country needs a Constitution that can curtail such wasteful expenditures by including a presidential running mate in the new Constitution, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has revealed.
And Chief Nzamane of the Chewa people of Eastern Province has predicted that Mr Hichilema would be elected republican president in the January presidential election because his time had come after more than seven years of persevering in the opposition.
Mr Hichilema said the country could have avoided wasting the US$700 million had the previous governments enacted a people-driven constitution that had a presidential running mate clause.
Mr Hichilema told the Chipata Chamber of Commerce on Monday that the PF Government had been borrowing for Consumption and the many induced by-elections at the expense of service delivery.
Mr Hichilema said in the last three years, the PF Government had borrowed US$7 billion, an amount that was accumulated in 37 years by the previous four administrations of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Frederick Chiluba, Dr Levy Mwanawasa and Mr Rupiah Banda.
He said Zambia’s foreign debt had in the last three years of PF misrule shot up to US$7 billion, stating that the country was completely mismanaged by a leadership that had no plan when they formed government.
He said it would be tragic for Zambians to retain the PF in Government after the January presidential election because the ruling party had proved beyond doubt that it was incapable of running national affairs.
Mr Hichilema said the PF appetite for borrowing was insatiable and that time had come for Zambians to redeem themselves by refusing to vote for a political party that had multiplied their misery.
“In the last three years, Zambia’s foreign debt has grown to US$7 billion, the same amount that was accumulated over a period of 37 years of the four previous administrations. The PF is not a political party to entrust with power and national resources. There has been a lot of plunder during the PF rule and we can reverse this by voting them out of Government next month. It would certainly be tragic for Zambians to retain the PF in Government,” Mr Hichilema said.
He warned that there would be more borrowing should the PF remain in Government and it would only be correct to reject them as a way of correcting the political mistake made in 2011.
The UPND leader said there had been a complete breakdown in the rule of law in the last three years and that violence had become the order of the day, thereby instilling fear in investors.
Mr Hichilema said there was a general feeling by investors that Zambia had become politically unstable and were withholding their investment, resulting into stagnation in the overall growth of the economy.
And Senior Chief Nzamane of the Chewa people observed that the succession wrangles in the PF had angered many Zambians and has endorsed Mr Hichilema as the preferable candidate for the presidential election next month.
Senioe Chief Nzamane said the PF had been a complete letdown and that Zambians would be making another politically fatal mistake to entrust power with the ruling party because of their inability to manage their succession process.
Meanwhile Mr Hichilema brought Chipata town to a virtual standstill when a frenzied crowd mobbed him as he took time to ride a bicycle covering 5 kilometres.
Mr Hichilema mesmerized his supporters when he freely mingled with them as he listened to their social and economic problems.