United Party for National Development (UPND) is clearly lost for words over Patriotic Front’s decisiveness on KCM as it is led by someone with “experience” in matters of liquidation and disposal of State assets.
Hakainde Hichilema’s and by proxy, UPND’s initial knee-jerk reaction was to commend President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for taking pragmatic steps regarding KCM. Now we’re reading another rehearsed tweet that Hichilema’s economic team (foreign consultants) is assessing the implications of the KCM liquidation while rumour has it that he has offered his “services” regarding the matter at hand at KCM.
While his economic team are at it, we wish to remind them that their client (UPND) is a mouthpiece for Capital as it has never genuinely stood for the common man, the miner and other ordinary workers.
We also ask his economic team of foreign consultants to tell Zambians the implications of Hichilema’s boasting that the mine owners could not wait for him to become President.
Hichilema’s economic team of foreign consultants should also tell Zambians why their client is opposed to the nation’s quest to collect $300 million from a $5billion industry by way of a tax regime.
So we ask Hichilema’s economic team of foreign consultants: who does their client speak for – Capital or the common man? History shows their client is but a mouthpiece of capital and the so-called economic assessment is meant to give comfort and massage capital while pretending to care for the workers and economy.
What was the implication of remarks on 25th August 2016 in Chingola when Hichilema promised to kick out KCM and bring back Anglo America?
We are aware that the UPND leader will be on Radio Christian Voice on 23rd May 2019 and we are officially requesting him to attend to the questions below. The same questions are hereby presented for his economic team of foreign consultants to consider as part of their assessment:
- What implications did Hichilema consider when he vowed to send KCM packing while bringing in Anglo America on 25th August 2016 during a rally in Chingola?
- What can Hichilema say today now that Vedanta has a stake in Anglo America?
- Who was appointed as Valuator/ Negotiator in the sale of Assets in the 1990’s; but instead ended up being the owner of the very State Assets he had been entrusted to sell after deliberately under-valuing them and selling them cheaply to himself? If so wouldn’t this be classified as “corruption” on a grand scale?
To be more specific:-
(a) Who under-valued the State Assets namely: Intercontinenal Hotel-Livingstone and Rainbow Lodge which were subsequently sold cheaply to one of the lowest bidders (Sun International Limited) a company in which someone ultimately and notoriously became the major share holder?
- Who bungled the sale of Luanshya Copper Mine (LCM) and which State appointed negotiator / valuator cheaply sold the mine to Binani- a dubious bunch of characters who stripped and scavenged the mine and took off- leaving Luanshya miners in misery with some of them commiting suicide and many of them dying of depression?
- Can Hichilema’s economic team tell Zambians what the implications where of their preferred mining Conglomerate decision to hurriedly dump Zambians, abandoning KCM mineworkers, while leaving them in abject poverty and misery, after UPND’s founding leader and Hichilema’s predecessor lost elections to late President Levy Mwanawasa in 2001?
- Who, without batting an eyelid, effortlessly mocked 21,000 miners when they were threatened with job losses and literally rejoiced at the prospect of them being left in the cold?
- Who was exposed in the “Panama Papers” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for being unpatriotic by avoiding to pay tax in Zambia and stashing millions of dollars in Bermuda and other Tax havens?
In view of the above, we would strongly suggest that any “UPND economic assessment” be quarantined and kept far away from KCM until the above questions have been decisively clarified for the benefit of all Zambians.
The Author, Sunday Chilufya Chanda, is Patriotic Front Media Director
At the Patriotic Front Secretariat