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WE NEED PEACEFUL TRANSITION IN 2021 – HICHILEMA

HAKAINDE Hichilema has appealed to all Zambians to work together and ensure a peaceful transition by massively voting for UPND in 2021.

He says various investors he has engaged while in the US are ready to restructure Zambia’s mounting debt.
“They pledged investment of about US$25.8 billion over a period of five years. They are interested in electricity, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure and mining,” Hichilema said.
He said the UPND had a great plan and vision for Zambia.

“Let us all seize the moment to rebuild our great country,” Hichilem said.

He said on Thursday he made a presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the US where he discussed the state of play in Zambia.

Hichilema explained that the audience’s main interests were the human rights and economic situation in the country.

He said they were also interested to know what the UPND would do differently if elected into office.

“On the human rights abuses, we assured them that we as opposition charged with the responsibility of providing checks and balances will continue holding the PF government accountable,” Hichilema said. “We reiterated our resolve to amend certain pieces of legislation such as the colonial public order Act that limits people’s freedoms of assembly and does not conform to the current international standards and norms.”

Hichilema said on the economy, the various stakeholders he engaged in a side event, especially investors, were very worried about the mounting debt.

“We requested that the investors in the room could begin to speak to their fellow private sector players on possibility of debt restructuring. They made a commitment that once they see a serious commitment to fiscal discipline, they are willing to help the country to renegotiate the debt held by private sector,” Hichilema reported. “We spoke about the opportunities for the investors to come and partner with our Zambian businessmen. They had no objection to creating joint ventures. They pledged investment of about US$25.8 billion over a period of five years. They are interested in electricity, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure and mining. The bulk of their investment will be in electricity generation and portfolio diversification, they also see agriculture and tourism as main foreign exchange earners. They believe that reliable infrastructure will also provide dividends to their investment. They repeated the pledge for joint ventures as long as the government has policy consistency and fiscal discipline.”

Hichilema said the stakeholders he met were very optimistic about Zambia after he shared the UPND’s plan for revitalising the economy.

“They placed the onus of creating a Zambia we want on ourselves as citizens of the country,” said Hichilema. “Our appeal to all Zambians is that we need to work together and ensure a peaceful and democratic transition by massively voting for UPND in 2021 so that these investment pledges can come forth.”

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