Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has released a secret document which shows details of the sale of the Natural Resource Development College by the PF Zambia to Chinese state owned firm AVIC International.
And Mr Hichilema has instructed UPND Members of Parliament to start impeachment proceedings aganist President Edgar Lungu for allegedly abrogating the republican constitution.
Addressing Journalists in Lusaka, Mr. Hichilema revealed that the PFgovernment through Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Julius Shawa sold the 304 hectare NRDC land through a swap to AVIC international.
Mr. Hichilema disclosed that the agreement to sale NRDC was entered in a Memorandum of Understanding with AVIC International on May 29th, 2017.
“Julius Shawa, Permanent Secretary signed the sale agreement on behalf of the Zambian government while a representative from AVIC signed in Chinese language. This is how dull and disorganised this government can be. How do you allow the signing of an important document in a language you least understands? What if they turn around and say it’s not us that signed”, he asked.
Mr. Hichilema also regretted what he referred to as the distortion in the contract of sale which he said was irregular.
“When one considers the location where the land being sold is located, it is safe to say, the government gave away land to for free to AVIC international because NRDC is on prime land and very expensive when you covert it into cash. 304 hectares site is worthy millions of dollars probably worth in the region of US$40 million dollars. I am in the property business myself, one acre at the NRDC land is worth around for US$1,000 to US$2,000 dollars and 2,000 acres in Shakumbila village can go for less than US$1,000 dollars,” he said.
Mr Hichilema noted that the Prime land on which NRDC is situated cannot be compared to traditional land in Shibuyunji district where NRDC will be constructed.
He said it was unfortunate, that the PS in the ministry of agriculture decided to lie when the UPND wrote to him demanding the halt to the sell NRDC.
“When we wrote a demand letter, the PS replied that the government is not selling NRDC but the MoU in our possession confirms the sale via a swap to AVIC. For a start, I have directed the Secretary General to write back to Mr. Shawa to explain why he denied the presence of sale agreement when the UPND earlier wrote to him urging him to reverse the sale,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said Article 1.1 of the document says the MoU shall facilitate the construction of a brand new campus for NRDC under an equivalent exchange model which simply means that AVIC will take over NRDC land in an asset to asset swap.
“In other ways, they are trading NRDC with an empty piece of land so that AVIC is given the land at NRDC to construct a Financial Centre. The price is here but they thought we wouldn’t understand the meaning of this.
Meanwhile, Mr Hichilema has issued an instruction to UPND MPs to impeach President Lungu.
“There are members of Parliament here. Here is the instruction, you must commence the impeachment process now and we have a number of constitutional breaches for which you should impeach him,” he said.
He continued, “the man confirmed that anyone who works anywhere can steal from their employer, how can you stop people from stealing when you are busy saying such things. It means him is busy stealing in State House from Zambians who put him there. On another account, by his own mouth, he confirmed that in 2015 and 2016, he was voted out of the office but he refused to go and that he will refuse in 2021. That’s confirmation.”
“Another ground. The law in Article 104 and 105 says that when a presidential petition is submitted, just mere submission, the presidency must transfer from whoever is holding them to the Speaker of the National Assembly and he refused to hand over and he abrogated the constitution, that is another account. The Judicial Complaints Commission in its own ruling indicated that there was no 14 days used in the petition. We will invoke that impeachment process because it is provided for in the constitution,” he said.