Thursday, April 18, 2024

President Haiande Hichilema asked Questions from Opposition Party over Key Issues

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Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema is facing questions from the opposition party, Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), over his administration’s handling of key issues affecting the country. PeP President Sean Tembo has raised ten questions that he believes the President needs to answer urgently.

One of the questions posed to the President is why the government is still only giving student loans to less than 10% of applicants. PeP’s Sean Tembo believes that student loans are now an investment and not an expenditure since they are recovered in full by the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB). According to Tembo, the loans should be extended to all applicants and to private universities and colleges as well.

Tembo also questioned the government’s decision to go on an IMF program, given that the idea was to obtain debt relief. He noted that despite getting on the IMF program, there has been no debt relief forthcoming as western multilateral institutions like World Bank continue bickering with the country’s biggest bilateral lender, China. “Why should your Government continue to implement IMF austerity measures such as monthly reviews of fuel prices, ZESCO tariff increments, etcetera, when there is no tangible benefit in sight?” Tembo asked.

The PeP President further raised concerns about the government’s decision to involve Micro Ocean Investments in the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola road through NAPSA. According to Tembo, the transaction could be complicated by making Micro Ocean Investments borrow money from NAPSA when the government can borrow the money from NAPSA instead. He also questioned why the government needs to be tied to Micro Ocean Investments for 25 years.

Another question posed to the President is regarding the Kasenseli Gold Mine in Solwezi, which has been closed for over 18 months. Tembo believes that the mine should be given to Zambia Gold Mining Company Limited, a national gold mining company, to increase the country’s gold reserves at BOZ, instead of allowing Zambia National Service (ZNS) to continue plundering the gold.

PeP’s Sean Tembo also questioned the government’s failure to deliver adequate farming inputs for the 2022/2023 farming season, noting that there will be a definite poor harvest among peasant and subsistence farmers across the country. “What arrangements are you making to send relief maize across the country?” Tembo asked. He also raised concerns about the government’s 30% increase in electricity tariffs, which he believes will completely kill whatever is left of local industries and impoverish the Zambian citizen.

Regarding the depreciation of the kwacha, Tembo urged the government to put in place interventions to arrest the free fall of the currency. “Could you perhaps speak to your ‘friends’ in the mining sector, and specifically at First Quantum Mine so that they can start remitting the gross proceeds of mineral sales back into the Zambian banking system instead of keeping the money in foreign banks?” he asked.

Tembo also raised concerns about the First Lady’s alleged involvement in illegal manganese mining at Sacko Mine, saying that the First Lady should publicly exculpate herself before rushing to arrest and intimidate the complainants. “Given that this whole saga smells of high-level corruption, don’t you think the First Lady should publicly exculpate herself?” he asked.

The PeP President also raised questions about the President’s decision-making process regarding the issues at Mopani and KCM. He urged the President to embrace a sense of urgency in his decision-making on these matters, noting that the indecision has an adverse impact on the economy and welfare of the people of Copperbelt Province and Zambia as well

“What would it take for you to embrace a sense of urgency in your decision making on these matters? Is it a case of being afraid to make a wrong decision or perhaps you have more sinister motives such as ensuring that the two mines are totally dilapidated so that they can be sold for a song to your friends at Anglo American Corporation? ” concluded the questions.

5 COMMENTS

  1. If reading the articles written by oppostion party’s on here
    it’s no wonder we in a mess, all being put forward its critism,
    A broke GRZ is doing its best, what most dont understand is
    there are only 2 choices
    an economic choice or a Political appeasement choice,
    This government has chosen the former
    And rightly so

    • Hahaha making yourself feel better about failure. Fuseke. Your president promised heaven on earth. He has failed and now you look like a sausage

  2. Has it ever occurred to you that Vedanta might be a surrogate of Anglo American? I expect the opposition to change their mode of engagement with government since HH is now getting well into his Presidency. Job on training is now over

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