PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has addressed the third session of 13th National Assembly through a message whose message was centred on unity of purpose, economic development, addressing the High cost of living, plus the fight against poverty and corruption.
With the current prevailing high cost of living, Mr Hichilema had to touch on this issue, and was quick to acknowledge the status quo with an assurance that his administration is addressing the matter.
The President, who is an economist, said Government is aware about the high price of mealie meal and petroleum products but various interventions are being put in place to address the situation.
“We are doing everything possible to stabilize the price of our staple commodity food called mealie meal,” Mr Hichilema said.
“The road maybe bumpy but we are on course,” he said, adding “We are working hard to stabilise the exchange rate”.
“We are concerned about this situion and are doing everything possible to stabilise the price of mealie. We are putting in place measures to cushion the most vulnerable”.
Mr Hichilema said government will inject resources in the farming sector and consequently help reduce the cost of production and consequently, mealie meal prices.
And in an act of magnanimity, The President also acknowledged that the New Dawn administration is “slow” but that it can do more, regards implementation of its development agenda.
“As UPND New Dawn, we are slow, all sectors involved here, we can do more,” Mr Hichilema said.
He also notes that the two years of being in office is not a straight forward journey but all that the party envisioned will be fulfilled.
The President further thanked Zambians for the two years that have supported the UPND in officer as it seeks to implement campaign promises.
And the head of State, as expected, was quick to emphacise his administration’s unapologetic resolve to strongly fight corruption and recover stolen assets even if others want to frustrate the agenda.
The President’s sentiments come at time when some sections of the opposition have deemed the fight against corruption as being targeted at political opponents from the previous regime.
But Mr Hichilema told the National Assembly that the New Dawn stands strong in the fight against corruption.
“We stand strong in the fight against corruption, no matter what it takes, we stand strong in the fight against corruption, no matter the delays, no matter the frustrations, eyes on the ball,” he said.
“Despite accusing fingers, wrongly, despite accusations, despite allegations, it does not matter, we stay the course on the fight against corruption. Government in totality should work together to amend the pieces of legislation to allow us to reach the assets quickly,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said the efforts to recover stolen assets have been heightened and that there should not no sympathy for the corrupt and “no sacred cows”
“Investigations on cases of corruption and recovery of stolen assets have been intensified, we have done the hoemwork now, we have gone round the world, we have beck marked, we have seen how took so long for other countries, how its frustrating to us, we are unlocking that area and you will see speed, we must restore assets to the true owners,” Mr Hichilema said.
The President also said there is need to teach Zambians that “what belongs to people is for the people. What is private is for the private”.
On issuses of health, the President appealed to private sector to consider venturing in manufacturing of drugs to ensure adequate supply for a health citizenry.
Mr Hichilema also said government will ensure that all health facilities have a maternity annex to prevent maternal deaths.
And the President commended Members of Parliament for ensuring enactment of the NAPSA partial withdrawal of benefits Act becomes law.
Mr Hichilema said so far, K8. 1billion was paid to beneficiaries who accessed 20 percent of their retirement benefits and that the money will help in growing the economy through increased money circulation.
And the President directed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that there is law for Members of Parliament should be part of council meetings like it was in the past.
Mr Hichilema said MPs should be part of decision making at local level so that they can offer well informed debates in Parliament.
“They need to be part of the full council,” he said.
On intervals in his address, the President stressed the need for unity of purpose among MPs and the need to avoid politicizing matters of national concern such as health and sanitation.
“By partisan motions should receive support from all of us,” Mr Hichilema who briefly chatted with leader of the opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile when leaving the House, said.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th September, 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)