PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu has vowed that tax evaders being shielded by friends in Government will be pursued to pay their dues and warned that the cartel that almost hijacked State power will be dismantled.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has disclosed that Vice-President Guy Scott unilaterally signed the Statutory Instrument to increase the retirement age from 55 to 65 years without consulting Cabinet and that he (Lungu) would revise the law soon after being elected republican president.
He recalled that the late President Michael Sata had brought up the subject of increasing retirement age three times from 2011 but that Cabinet had opposed it and wondered why Dr Scott had moved in swiftly to sign the instrument without consulting.
He said President Sata did not sign the Statutory Instrument to increase the retirement age because he had listened to Cabinet.
Mr Lungu said the 65-year retirement age was illegally signed by Dr Scott and Mr Lungu promised to reverse the decision in January next year.
Addressing a mammoth rally in Lusaka’s Mandevu constituency yesterday, Mr Lungu asserted his authority and declared that there was a group of individuals that had waged a malicious propaganda campaign against him because they were scared that he would follow them and make them accountable for their economic transgressions against Zambians. Mr Lungu said he did not care what certain newspapers were writing about him, adding that the slander and hatred being propagated against him were only making him more popular.
“There is a newspaper that has made me their daily subject in their pages and it does not surprise me. They are scared that once I become president of the country, I will go for them so that they pay back what they owe Zambians. But let them know that the K14 billion Development Bank of Zambia loan will be paid back because that is people’s money. My Government will also empower the Zambia Revenue Authority so that they can collect the taxes from the people who have been evading tax,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu has also promised that once voted into power he will recognize Henry Kanyanta Sosala as the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba-speaking people and sign a Statutory Instrument to that effect.
He disclosed that soon after he was appointed secretary general of the PF, he consulted late President Sata over the gazetting of Henry Kanyanta Sosala and the late president assured him that the matter was being resolved with the Bashilubemba.
Mr Lungu said the opposition political parties were taking advantage of the impasse between the PF Government and the Bemba Royal Establishment but…”I have a message for them that immediately I get into State House, I will sign a Statutory Instrument to recognize the Paramount Chief Chitimukulu.” The PF president said the ruling party was aware that the cost of living was high and that many Zambians were complaining.
He said his government was going to work hard to reduce the price of mealie meal, adding that the current price was unaffordable to many citizens. On the constitution-making process, Mr Lungu said when he was appointed Justice Minister, he quickly moved in and released the draft Constitution to the general public and pledged that the new Constitution would be enacted before the 2016 general elections.
“I had a chat with Grand Coalition chairperson Fr Leonard Chiti when I became Minister of Justice and I managed to release the draft Constitution on Independence Day,” he said.
Mr Lungu said nothing would stop him and his Government from enacting a people-driven Constitution before 2016.
He said PF Government would also reduce the cost of fuel and electricity in all parts of the country.