HAKAINDE Hichilema says the entire PF regime is rotten to the core and requires a massive cleanup, a total overhaul.

Commenting on the ACC’s arresting of infrastructure minister Ronaldo Chitotela, Hichilema said the minister’s alleged grand corruption “confirms why the country is bankrupt.”

“We have consistently told the nation about the ongoing grand corruption in the country under the PF regime but they have kept denying,” he said. “This week the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested Chitotela and slapped him with what we consider as a mere joke of the offences because we know there is more, as now reported by media houses. But we know it’s not Chitotela alone involved in this looting of public resources matrix in the PF, it’s the entire regime that is rotten to the core and requires a massive cleanup and total overhaul.”

Hichilema said massive corruption such as corruptly acquired fire tenders, customised private jets, overpriced ambulances, overpriced road contracts and other construction projects, overpriced fertiliser contracts, fuel procurement contracts and others, were the reasons Zambian children have been denied food at learning institutions as the PF has scrapped their meal allowances.

He said the UPND had predicted and warned the citizens that the PF would economically bankrupt the country through corruption.

Hichilema said the PF embarked on a reckless borrowing spree and applied the resources in none productive sectors and looted the money, enriching themselves.

“The result now is that key sectors such as the education, health institutions have no medicines, farmers are not being paid and have no fertiliser and other inputs, government suppliers of goods and services are not being paid, cost of doing business is high, plus excessive and duplicated tax environment, leading to job losses and lack of job creation,” he said. “For example, this decision to abolish meal allowances for students has far reaching consequences to the individual students and at family level. To start with, families are already overstretched as the PF regime has neglected the agriculture sector by the failed e-voucher fertiliser and other inputs delivery system that was cushioning households, especially for the majority rural communities.”

Hichilema said even for those in some formal employment, there had not been any meaningful increase in their salaries, while the little they earn is heavily taxed, coupled with the continued increase in the cost of living due to, among other reasons, increase in fuel prices.

“We are now consigning our youth to evil vices for them to raise some bit of money to buy food and other necessities while at universities as their parents cannot afford due to the economic difficulties they are going through,” said Hichilema. “Even worse, our resource envelop, especially in the social sectors, was already affected by donor freeze due to the looting of social cash funds, looting in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. We have been offering advice and alternatives to our colleagues in PF but they never listened, resulting in the current situation where our economy is now in the Intensive Care Unit.”

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