UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema says he will sell off the presidential jet recently acquired by President Edgar Lungu if he becomes Head of State.
And Mr Hichilema has called for a national dialogue on national economy.
Mr Hichilema said if elected President, he will dispose off the presidential jet and use the proceeds to pay student meal allowances and retirees.
“We don’t need that expensive jet to get around. We will sell it and give students their meal allowances, among other important needs,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said exorbitant government expenditure has driven the national budget deficit that makes it difficult to pay civil servants salaries, medical supplies and support UNZA students with meal allowances.
Mr Hichilema said a UPND Government will not allow unnecessary expenditure at the expense of the Zambian people.
“What I can confirm is that we will not need a Presidential Jet. However our security as the Presidency is determined by other agencies and they recommend what is ideal. But we shall not burden the tax payer,” he said.
And Mr Hichilema says there is urgent need for a national dialogue on economic recovery.
Good afternoon friends. We have issued this statement below. Kindly widely share.
“There is no need to pretend anymore about the ongoing economic crisis facing the country. We are all fully affected regardless of our political persuasion,” Mr Hichilema said in a statement.
“Instead of wasting time and resources at the ongoing PF engineered National Dialogue Forum, well meaning citizens must urgently come together and rescue this country from the economic sabotage,” he said.
“The agriculture sector is at an all time low, mining firms are shutting down critical operations resulting in massive job losses, the cost of living and doing business keeps escalating, inflation is increasing, the Zambian currency is tumbling against major currencies plus many other depressing issues.”
He added, “On the other hand, corruption is getting worse and those holding instruments of power are not giving any direction on where we are headed as they cannot face the citizens by way of a national address to give hope.”
Mr Hichilema said the country is running on autopilot hence the need for some form of leadership by those of like him who care for the country and can offer some policy alternatives.
“Zambia belongs to all of us, so we must get concerned and take remedial measures to address the distressing economic situation in the country. This is the kind of dialogue that must be promoted as no one has a monopoly on knowledge,” he said.
“People from various sectors including marketeers, drivers, miners, students, youth and women, should all be given a platform to offer solutions. The nation cannot be subjected to the kind of circus that is currently going on at the PF driven national dialogue when our economy is in a free fall,” he stated.
“Let’s put our heads together and address the ongoing economic collapse,” he said.