Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rupiah has mishandled himself over Zamtel – HH

Rupiah has mishandled himself over Zamtel – HH
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, February 21, 2009 7:06:27 AM

OPPOSITION UPND president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday charged that President Rupiah Banda has mishandled himself over the Zamtel and RP Capital saga.

Featuring on Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk programme, Hichilema said President Banda and Vice-President George Kunda must tell the nation why they must not acknowledge that they have failed the public on the Zamtel issue. He said communications and transport minister Dora Siliya was just a messenger over the saga.

"We also are aware that there is a related party who is associated with RP Capital Partners, is it RB Capital Partners? Now I can see the minister struggling and I know Dora very well. I feel sorry for her. I think she's a messenger," Hichilema said.

"She finds herself being a messenger of a well-orchestrated plan to actually take money from public coffers, US$2 million dollars. And let's not debate about whether the MoU is legally binding or not. The intent is very clear. I'm told RP Capital Partners are already working on the assignment."

Hichilema said the debate surrounding the Zamtel scam was filled with half-truths.

"When you are telling a lie, it shows and the Vice-President was very busy telling the nation that there was nothing wrong. Mr Vice-President, are you saying that your Attorney General is irrelevant? Are you saying that to tell RP Capital Partners using inside information is not wrong? The President I think mishandled himself on this matter," Hichilema said.

"The President came out calling all of us less intelligent than Dora. I don't understand what is the meaning of intelligence in this. I think we must remove intelligence outside of this debate. This is pure corruption."

Hichilema said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RP Capital must be cancelled forthwith. He said Siliya should step aside from her position.

Hichilema further said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) should officially move in and investigate Siliya on her alleged corruption.

"The court process is being touted now. I know some people are touting the court process, a tribunal. A tribunal can take five years. A tribunal controlled by the Judiciary that is dependent in terms of salary increment, in terms of renewal of contract on the President can take five years," Hichilema said. "It means justice will be delayed and therefore denied."

Hichilema said in the last 100 days of President Banda, Zambians had witnessed an increase in corruption and improper conduct of the highest order.

"I don't know what price the Zambian people have to pay up to 2011," he said.

Hichilema wondered where President Banda's advisors were because the President was making so many serious blunders.

He said advisors should sit President Banda down because he was walking himself into a lot of traps.

"Unless he's creating the situation himself," Hichilema said.

Hichilema also said he felt that the trucks carrying Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) maize that was rejected by FRA may not have left the country.

"He suggested that we must re-open the debate when the trucks were already in the country. What does that suggest? It suggests that he's covering somebody up. I don't think we can tolerate this anymore," he said.

Hichilema said the government was uneasy because it had realised that Zambians would not allow them to continue with the things that they were doing wrong.

He said President Banda had taken Zambians back to the late 1980s when they were queuing for essential commodities such as mealie-meal.

On the plot by President Banda's government to arrest and silence Fred M'membe and Mutembo Nchito using the dealings of Zambian Airways, Hichilema said he did not want to focus much on the matter.

"The issue is that if one ran a transparent government, we operate above board. We will have courage as a government to deal with issues as they arise, because issues will arise in the country but if you are compromised yourself, you will find it difficult as a government to deal with issues that need to be dealt with," said Hichilema.

"So in my view, I think this is a general issue that government has created for itself by failing to provide leadership in various areas, including in the handling of commercial issues and social issues as we have demonstrated already."

According to intelligence sources, M'membe's planned arrest was aimed at weakening The Post while Nchito's arrest would enable President Banda to derail the prosecution of former president Frederick Chiluba.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home