Opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that Zambia is facing one of its greatest economic challenges because President Edgar Lungu has allegedly failed to provide leadership.
Addressing a news conference at the party’s Secretariat on this morning, Mr Hichilema said President Lungu has absconded from his responsibilities.
Mr Hichilema accused PF of killing poor Zambians by failing to provide leadership and sinking a once prosperous economy.
When PF took over in 2011, the Kwacha was 5.40 to a dollar, four years down the line, the Kwacha is now at K 10.4 to a dollar, that is over 100 percent depreciation
“When PF took over in 2011, the Kwacha was 5.40 to a dollar, four years down the line, the Kwacha is now at K 10.4 to a dollar, that is over 100 percent depreciation,” he said.
He warned that more Zambians will face untold suffering by December tis year as Maize prices are expected to be hiked.
Mr Hichilema also revealed that more mining companies will place their operations on care and maintenance following reduced production as a result of increased load shedding.
“What we are seeing at Baluba mine where the treatment plant had to be closed and 1,600 jobs put on hold is just the beginning, more is mines will be put on what is called care and maintenance,” Mr Hichilema said.
“What Zambia needs is a leadership with a clear vision. A leadership that won’t blame external variables such as China for its failure to provide basics amenities for its people.”
Mr.Hichilema said President Lungu should cut down on is international trips in order to focus on addressing issues at home.He said, “We want to tell Lungu to have self restraint. Even if there is a lot of beer in State House, don’t drink all of it, leave some of it.”
Sort out the Kariba North bank issue, those are management issues, we are demanding that Mr Lungu stops travelling. He should not travel to his upcoming trip to Kenya, go and tell him that HH says don’t travel
Mr Hichilema added, “Sort out the Kariba North bank issue, those are management issues, we are demanding that Mr Lungu stops travelling. He should not travel to his upcoming trip to Kenya, go and tell him that HH says don’t travel.”
The UPND leader said, “When you have a serious person in State House, that presidential jet is packed most of the time so that you can concentrate on domestic issues.”
Mr Hichilema also stated that President Lungu has no capacity to address the increased load shedding.
“Our friends in Kenya are investing in solar, what are we doing? We are exporting power, we demand that Lungu renegotiates those power export agreements forthwith.”
Stop the Maize exports because the price of mealie meal will be high by December, let FRA buy the Maize and pay cash to the farmer
“I am advising Lungu to address the electricity issue. So factories, saloons and the window frame maker can be productive. Stop the Maize exports because the price of mealie meal will be high by December, let FRA buy the Maize and pay cash to the farmer.”
He said at the rate the crop marketing season is going, the FRA will fail to meet its targeted 500, 000 metric tonnes of Maize purchases.Mr Hichilema also advised President Lungu to focus on the production side of the economy and not on the expenditure side.
“Miteno za misonko zadula, (fees for various licences have one up), we are saying as UPND, you will only renew your licences every three years so we help you survive during these difficult time.