Allow stakeholders to protest against the purchase of the 42 fire trucks-HH

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Hakainde Hichilema

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has urged the police to allow some stakeholders to protest against the purchase of the 42 fire trucks. In a statement released to the media last night, the UPND leader urged the police to allow people who want to speak out against what he termed looting and gross abuse of public resources through dubious tender deals.

Mr HIchelema said that the demonstration was representative of the interests and opinions of the majority of Zambians as they demand that the full public resource management processes, that led to the purchase of the 42 fire trucks be opened to public scrutiny.

Below is his statement unveiled to the media tonight.

PRESS RELEASE
28/09/17

POLICE SHOULD ALLOW PROTEST AGAINST PURCHASE OF 42 FIRE ENGINES

The Police should allow those that want to speak out and demonstrate against the looting and gross abuse of public resources through dubious tender deals to freely do so.

It’s very unfortunate that the Police have advised the organisers of this protest march, Joint Action for Accountability in Zambia (JAAZ), from going ahead with this demonstration. This is not only illegal but against all tenets of a democratic dispensation.

The demonstration is representative of the interests and opinions of the majority of Zambians as they demand that the full public resource management processes, that led to the purchase of the 42 fire trucks be opened to public scrutiny.

JAAZ is demanding that the budgetary choice making and procurement process of the fire engines, represents the kind of imprudent use and mismanagement of public resources that must be brought to an end, if the quality of life of ordinary Zambian citizens is to improve.

The freedom of expression is unmistakably enshrined in the Republican constitution and therefore it’s legally not right for the police to stop the general citizenry from freely expressing their views when they see the government abusing public resources.

It’s for this reason that the UPND fully supports and rallies behind the organisers of the peaceful demonstration to be staged at parliament buildings tomorrow, in protest over the $42 million dollars that was spent to purchase 42 fire-fighting engines.

We are dismayed that the PF and President Edgar Lunga are continuing to use the police to stifle constitutional freedoms and rights in this country.

It’s unacceptable that a fundamental right to freely express oneself is being being denied by those that are supposed to uphold and respect the constitution.

These are the same tactics and methods the PF has been using in its attempt to silence the opposition and the UPND in particular. Every time we notify the police of a peaceful protest we are given a flimsy excuse as not to go ahead. When the PF want to protest, they do it nonchalantly, when and wherever they please.

We demand that the PF and the police stop the selective misapplication of the Public Order act with immediate effect.

We absolutely agree with the contentions brought forth by the organisers of this protest, that the procurement process for the purchase of these fire engines smacks of corruption and was not done in the best interest of the general Zambian populace.

What is even more shocking is that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Zambia Public and procurement Authority (ZPPA) both sanctioned the purchase of these fire engines, at very exorbitant prices and yet what was delivered was not worthy of the value for the money used.

Purchasing 42 fire engines at a million dollar each does not befit a country that is grappling with acute poverty levels, ever-increasing unemployment, inadequate health services, an ailing agricultural sector and general lack of development countrywide.

The UPND will not stop until we get a satisfactory and intrinsic investigation over this fraudulent procurement of the fire engines. We will pull all stops to ensure that all those that were involved in this sham of a procurement process be brought to book and made accountable to the Zambian people. We will apply everything at our disposal, political and legal pressure, to get to the bottom of this issue.

Its cardinal that the general citizenry, civil society and the rest of our society take keen interest in the welfare and governance process of this country. It’s important that we sound our demands in unison and speak with one strong voice.

The purchase of these fire engines at $1 million each shows how corrupt the PF government is and how they don’t adhere to prudent management of public resources. It also shows that there is a serious disconnect between those at the helm of governance and the masses.

We would also want to add our voices to the accusations labeled on Home affairs Minister, Steven Kampyongo, that he received a bribe of three vehicles from Grandview, the company that won the tender to supply the 42 fire fighting engines. We are surprised that Kampyongo hasn’t responded to this very serious accusation. Why is he suspiciously quiet? May the ACC take up this issue with uttermost urgency and investigate these allegations.

We urge all Zambians that detest corruption and abuse of public resources to come out in the open and speak out against this daylight robbery of our public resources.

We strongly implore the police and the PF government to allow this protest so that those aggrieved with the wastage of $42 million dollars on purchasing average fire fighting engines stand up and express their displeasure in a legal and peaceful manner.

Hakainde Hichilema
*UPND President*

31 COMMENTS

  1. +23
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    Open protests allowed freely and safeguarded by constitutional guarantees of free speech is the lifeblood of any healthy democracy.Bwana Lungu,over to you i hope you’re payin attention.

    • +6
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      …this is a lesson for GBM. Next time UPND lose, they should NEVER promise us “Armageddon” ok?

      Thanks

    • +7
      -51
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      People have moved on from this tender saga.

      HH like any sane person needs to move on. Protesting will bring violence.

      Thee is no known stakeholders at all unless he is referring to UPND.

      The man is not ready at all to be the presdeint.

      I have a PhD

    • +1
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      Tame this lady above, she seems to think with her v….. and not with her brains. Which Zambians have moved on?
      This is part of fake news and propaganda machinery for PF, or she is just too d.ull and detached from what is going on.

    • +1
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      HH is the chief looter from Privatization….and today he can talk against his fellow looters with a straight face

  2. +4
    -9
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    Just tell us how Satanist Mukuni made you sleep at the graveyard so that you could win the last elections using 3 Provinces

  3. +3
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    This country has many looters of public properties especially in the 1990s. I hope your conscious is clear on this. Now the looters are showing off as hardworking and innovative, claiming to be rich and the country is clapping on. What a shame?

  4. +4
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    HH. You were supposed to be encouraging your MPs to be conducting checks and balances in Parliament. But you kept them busy boycotting the parliament. You see now the effects of such reactions and PF took advantages of the absence of your MPs to do whatever they wanted. So, today, you want to sound like an Angel. It’s too late.

  5. +3
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    The PF Govt’s reaction to the Firegate Scandal seem to suggest that Kampyongo did not eat alone in this deal. Mr Corruption 1 is involved and thats why nothing is being done about this Scandal. The beneficiaries of Firegate are many and prominent Leaders in the Corrupt PF Govt. The fish rots from the Head downwards.

  6. +3
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    Just watch……lungu will do nothing because he was given in the region of $5 million from this corruption……..he knows what I am talking about……

  7. +5
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    No 1 corrupter is HH who made so much from privitisation that he can single handely fund upnd. He is actually a god in upnd

  8. +2
    -5
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    Hi Mr HH, Just to advise that Police have no powers whatsoever under the Zambian constitution to allow or not to allow.

  9. +1
    -1
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    The noise about the issue of the so called firegate scandal shouldn’t be prolonged as it has been if any of those people especially HH or Kambwili’s have any proof why not bring it to the attention of the nation rather than forcing people to demonstrate over issues which they have no proof whosoever.
    The Zambian people shouldn’t be used like dogs to go on the streets and start making noise over things which they don’t have any proof. If those opposing the acquisition of the Fire Tenders as been done in a dubious way let them present the evidence.
    HH shouldn’t choose issues which require politicking such as the KCM issue we are reading in the papers, let him come to the table and oppose KCM’s stance of trying to “outsource / second” whatever vocabulary they are using it’s…

  10. 0
    -2
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    The only time the truth can come out is when PF is out of power. I agree with one of the bloggers that it will be difficult in Zambia to do away with removal of presidential immunity because sitting presidents have so much power. Thank you CK and count on me as one of your supporters. Northerners come on and let us them who we are.

  11. +5
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    @Ndetilati:dont cheat yourself as no wise northerner would involve himself in matters he knows little about.already ACC is saying the fire tender was ok,so which evidence do you have?
    Note;late Michael Sata’s Govnt bought fire engines for ZAF and Airports in 2012 worth US$1.3m each.today is 2017 and a fire engine at K1m is fair if they bought fire vehicles 5 years ago at US$1.3m each.
    Dont be used by evil politicians (HH or CK) as all they envy is state house.let HH and Kambwili camp in Chingola to force KCM to stop the nonsense it is doing than politicking on fire engine issue.

  12. +4
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    @Dyonko;that is exactly my thoughts.
    If HH want us to protest,we should start by protesting at his chalala house about the money he received through privatization of Govnt firms!!!
    HH should not think that Zambians are dull.we all know how HH got rich via privatization.its the same with Kambwili and GBM who gave themselves contracts when they saved as ministers in PF Govnt!!SO GUYS SPARE US WITH YOUR NONSENSE!!

  13. vote

    Every Tax payer and stakeholder in Zambia, and every Tax payer and stakeholder in Countries that fund loans to Zambia has the right to know, the right to question how his/her money is being spent, how his/her interests are being represented and the right to freedom of repression as long as it is PEACEFUL. Period.

  14. +1
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    You little under5 foool, does Laura Miti represent me and majority of Zambians? What is wrong with UP.NDonkeys and Donkeylets kanshi mwebantu? Those who represent the majority of Zambians are elected by the majority of Zambians, not imwe ba “petition”……kikikikiki…..and jailbird……kikikikikiki.

  15. vote

    The guy knows deep down that the pricing is not bad but in his situation, he can even accept to eat feces if this can take him to plot 1.

Comments are closed.