Economic Front (EF) leader Wynter Kabimba has urged President Hakainde Hichilema to assume more responsibility for his failures, warning that with things worsening in the manner they are, Zambians are likely to pour out their anger onto the streets.
Speaking throughan interview, Kabimba laid out the facts in stating that the person who said he would fix matters was being fixed himself, with most fundamentals worsening since he assumed office, arguing that President Hichilema found the price of petrol and diesel around K17 and K16 respectively but has now increased them to over K28 and K29 respectively.
He said the Ukraine war cannot be used as an excuse because the President’s first action on assuming office was to increase fuel prices, three months before the war actually started, and that on assuming office, the Kwacha was trading at around K17 to US$1 but that was now K20 to US$1. Kabimba said the price of a 25 kilogram bag of breakfast meal was at K130 but President Hichilema has now increased it to over K170, and that the fertilizer which was around K700 is now over K1000.
He said it therefore sounds ridiculous for those in the ruling party to urge Zambians to endure the pain for now on claims that the UPND administration did not create the economic malaise the country is facing, saying the President and his people in the administration were drunk with false pride that was preventing them from apologising to Zambians that they have failed to run the affairs of the country competently.
He said President Hichilema before being elected into office said that the country was on its knees but that he went to the public to tell them that he knew where the problem was and that he would fix it, hence the acronym “Bally will fix it.”
“The truth of the matter, even from an ordinary person on the street is that HH has failed, HH lied and lied intentionally so that he can continue his business using State House,” Kabimba said. “So he understands nothing because he has not even paid attention to learn. It means he doesn’t want to learn. So to continue this ridiculous attitude of playing blame game against PF is nonsensical.”
Kabimba said there was an adage in English that a hungry man is an angry man, something he said President Hichilema alluded to before being elected and warned the President to immediately improve his manner of operations as Zambians might not be too patient for long.
“So you are likely to see the Zambian people pour out their anger on the streets as they did during Dr Kenneth Kaunda, if they don’t get things right,” Kabimba said.
The UPND has managed to procure works for the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriage way at less than half the price quoted under the PF, US$577 million as opposed US$1.2 billion, and have argued that this is the more reason why they wanted to get into office to stop the exorbitant costs on public goods.
But Kabimba accused the administration of generating unnecessary debate in the country as what the permanent secretary for Infrastructure said was that the signing ceremony was the first step.
He said the administration has not told the public when the project will commence, and that Zambians must be told how many additional toll gates will be constructed and the anticipated revenue from the same 25-year concession given to the concessionaire.
He further addressed himself to assertions of corruption from the administration about suspected corruption by the PF in coming up with the $1.2 billion cost, saying that agreement was signed between the PF administration and the Chinese state owned company, and therefore the UPND were accusing China of corruption.
“To allege corruption between China and PF is being arrogant to the people of China. UPND must stop this that’s why they are struggling to close out the debt deal,” he said, despite the fact that the consortium that has been given the contract is made up of Chinese firms.
He said under the PF deal, there were other pieces of infrastructure that were going to be constructed along the way, which have been removed in the new deal, but that if they could provide evidence that they have procured the same deal at half the price then they have a point in their argument