HUNDREDS of Zambians from all walks of life gathered this morning at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to greet Republican President Hakainde Hichilema and accord him a heroic welcome for his efforts to have Zambia’s 6.3 billion USD dollar debt restructured.
The airport, which was masked by dance troops representing Ngoni warriors, Bemba dancers, Makishi, Soli, and so on and so forth, drove a frenzy of gratitude to President Hichilema as he has managed to push Zambia forward into the ‘League of Nations.’
Upon his arrival, his cabinet applauded him and issued a single message: ‘Doubting Thomas’ have been put to shame.’
Meanwhile, addressing the crowds after what he termed as a difficult mission, President Hichilema compared the debt in which his administration had found the country to be a python that was squeezing the life out of Zambia.
President Hichilema stated that while not being the ones who coordinated the reckless borrowing that lead Zambia into a massive debt, his administration did not turn a blind eye and promptly sought a solution.
“We knew that the change we were voted on included restructuring the economy, reforms and something was standing in our way. Something that was behaving like a python conscripting us in the neck, conscripting us in the ribs and tying our legs together and we could not move as we wanted, that was the debt mountain. We promised that we will work very quickly to restructure the debt and today we return home, two days ago that was done in Paris and we had to be present to make sure that is done and done properly,” President Hichilema said.
“This was not easy, debt restructuring of a mountain proportion, humongous debt. The debt was borrowed recklessly, a liability was acquired, there was no asset to the other side, the economy went down, and we all know what happened to that money. But we did not say we know nothing about it, we had to do something about it. Although it was orchestrated by others who I am told went on social media a day ago to demean what was achieved,” he said.
The Head of State admitted that obtaining the 6.3 billion dollar debt restructure was no small feat, nor was it simple.
“It was not easy, it was difficult I must confess. Many of you did not understand this fellow for a very long time and I saw it from the names I was called, the things that were said about us and I said ‘wow one day they will know us and they will know us properly.’ Our actions are intentional they are not by chance. They are intentional to resolve things that stand in our way so that we can run the economy and better the lives of those students,” he said.
President Hichilema questioned the boldness of Patriotic Front supporters and bloggers to disparage the debt restructuring, stressing that they lacked the capacity to do what his administration had.
“Now why didn’t they do it themselves? First why did they take us into debt? And when they realized they had taken us in the wrong direction why didn’t they change direction? Why didn’t they clean the mess? The truth is that they had no capacity, that’s the truth. Anyway I want to be polite it’s a happy day today, let me remain polite,” he said.
He reminded the crowd that he would continue to walk the talk.
“When we were still in opposition we made commitments to the people of Zambia, we offered to the people of Zambia our vision and what we intended to do for this country. We explained over and over, our competitors said ‘uyu HH alitemwa ifya ku landa landa, ifyo alelanda bufi teti akwanishe’ (HH likes talking, what he speaks are lies and he cannot manage),” President Hichilema boasted.
“We said we would offer free education and we have done it. Someone took away meal allowances and we said we will restore meal allowances. How can our children be in class attentively if they are hungry? We said it, so we delivered. Walking the talk! We said people die before they receive their benefits… and we said partial withdraw, ‘ka NAPSA kanangena!’ Against all odds in a very difficult financial environment.”
Zambia’s 6.3 billion USD dollar debt to China and other Western nations has been restructured by the UPND government. Zambia’s debt restructuring feat has earned widespread praise, including an ovation from International Monetary Fund Chief Kristalina Georgieva.
“Today we will talk about Zambia, which I think is a great case of celebration….” Georgieva said at a roundtable discussion.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 24th June, 2023)
President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.
This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.
Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.
Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.
“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.
“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.
“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.
The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.
The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.
He further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.
However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.
He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)
Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.
The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.
The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.
When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.
In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
DPP wants more punishment for CK
THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.
On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.
This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.
After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.
But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.
Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..
“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.
I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)