By Venus N Msyani,Concerned citizen
Appearing disappointed and tired while addressing the Mines Union in Kitwe, president Edgar Lungu told his supporters in Copperbelt that the issue of privatization is not over. That will be revisited when he comes back after the election on Thursday and those involved will be punished.
“Umulandu taubola.” Amid background shouting in approval, president Lungu emphasized. Meaning until settled, a committed crime remains a crime.
He labels the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema leader incorrigible and says will send him to jail.
According to Lungu, Hichilema is outsourcing fund from foreigners and promising them to give them mines when he gets into power, which to Lungu is repeating the same mistake that led to poor 1990s privatization process.
Hakainde Hichilema, popularly known as HH, was involved in the privatization process of state-owned assets in the 1990s. It is alleged that he stole from the privatization process by under-valuing state assets, which included the mines.
For the past five years, Lungu’s government has been struggling to provide evidence to prove that Hakainde stole from privatization. To date, there is no enough evidence to prove that indeed HH stole. The issue is stuck in the hands of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
It leaves president Lungu in a fix because to revisit the issue he would have to convince people why he chooses an old issue with no enough evidence in place of fresh ones with clear evidence.
Hakainde Hichilema, is alleged to have undervalued state assets in the 1990s to pocket money. Edgar Lungu is currently overvaluing projects to pocket money. Who deserves arrest?
To date, K2.2bn has been plundered through corruption involving Patriotic Front (PF) government officials according to the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) 2020 Report.
The evidence is very clear through the sudden wealth of top PF government officials who are now among the richest in the region; graduating from owning cars to private jets.
Edgar Lungu himself is not excluded in the FIC report and has failed to provide a convincing explanation on the source of the sudden wealth. hence arresting HH will do him more damage than good as it will be clear proof that Zambia has finally fully turned dictatorship.
President Lungu is looking for a way to avoid HH so he can have an easy and smooth final term. However, arresting him should be off the table.
HH has been a headache to Lungu the Patriotic Front (PF) government for the past five years and Lungu doesn’t want to go through the same experience for the next five years if he wins on Thursday and thinks arresting Hichilema will help. It is a very bad idea.
Should HH also start thinking of arresting him for failing to provide a convincing explanation on his sudden wealth and that of his cabinet ministers if he loses to him on Thursday?