HAKAINDE Hichilema says under a UPND government it will be “obscene” for a government minister to be driven in either a VX or Rolls-Royce vehicle.
Hichilema, the UPND leader, has pledged to sell the opulent government VX vehicles for Cabinet ministers and use the money to start apolitical loan schemes for markets around Zambia.
He was speaking on ‘Let the people talk’ programme on Phoenix FM radio yesterday.
He also reiterated that under his auspices as the President of Zambia; “that presidential jet for $330 million is disgraceful, when the owners (ordinary Zambians) are not employed.”
“We’ll take money from the realisation of that jet to make sure Isaac (a caller) is paid,” Hichilema said.
He continued; “under the UPND government, let me declare today, you are NMC member, you aspire to be a minister, there will be no VX for you.”
“It will be obscene to drive a $250,000 VX for a government minister. A government minister driving a Rolls-Royce! Really? When people are hungry!” he exclaimed. “Before you (minister) went into government, you didn’t even have a [Toyota] Corolla. Wapeza kuti ndalama weo (where have you found money). You are simply abusing government. [But] it will not happen under the UPND. We’ll exchange the VXs with a loan scheme for marketeers in all the markets.”
Hichilema indicated that there would be a small office in markets to give credits to marketeers to expand their business.
“The money will come from savings from [sale of] VXs which ministers want to drive. That’s what we are committing and that’s why you are voting for UPND and HH,” he said.
On the just-ended UPND general assembly, which was held virtually from all provincial centres, Hichilema was proud to say: “we have received millions of positive reviews.”
“Check the revving on social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and everywhere. Check the print media; what were the headlines after our general assembly? Positive reviews! Unless in those few [media] who have a colossal disease and that disease is called hatred of fellow citizens. It was a wonderful event – no intimidation, no blood was shed,” he noted. “This general assembly brought a number of youths [in the NMC]. We passed the test! But we want a bit more youths. So, in the constitutional provision of appointing, we’ll bring more youths.”
Asked when he would announce the portfolio functions assigned to the newly elected NMC members, he said the process had already started.
“There is no sleeping on duty! But I’m not giving to you [the date I’ll announce the appointments]. The task is to now look into all the CVs of those who have qualified. It is a laborious process – as it was laborious to count 160,000 votes,” said Hichilema. “Because of that meticulousness and the volume work to be done correctly, we are doing it properly. [We] have to check the deficiencies.”