Wednesday, June 02, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Tue 01 June 2010, 04:30 CAT
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema during the newsmakers forum organised by the Press Freedom Committee of The Post at Lusaka’s Golfview Hotel on Sunday - Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza
A CONCERNED Zambian on Sunday took UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to task by demanding for an assurance that the PF-UPND Pact would not break due to politicians' selfishness.
During the newsmakers forum organized by the Press Freedom Committee of The Post featuring Hichilema at Lusaka’s Courtyard Hotel on Sunday, a Mr Chisola told Hichilema that he was concerned about the sustainability of the pact, as the nation goes to the 2011 general election.
"For me, I don't want to praise you like the others have done. The problem I have with you politicians is that you are very selfish. And it is this selfishness that has seen MMD continue in power up to today. If you people were not selfish MMD would have gone a long time ago, Chisola said," amidst shouts of approval from the audience.
"Now, I'm worried about this pact between your party and the PF. Is it going to stand until 2011 so that you do not give chance to the MMD? We do not want to hear that the pact has collapsed because you have refused to be Sata's deputy or Sata has refused to be your deputy. That is my fear, that when you choose a presidential candidate, will the other one accept to be vice-president? Please we beg of you. Do not let this pact break. If it does then all of us will be doomed because MMD will continue to bring misery upon us."
Chisola urged Hichilema and Sata to draw lessons from the outcome of the recent British election.
"Look at Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Conservative leader, now Prime minister, David] Cameron; they had to bury their differences and look for a common ground. It doesn't matter who is in what party, and today Clegg is in government despite being leader of the smallest party. That is what we want you our politicians to do. Remove your selfishness and fight for a common cause, help us please!" pleaded Chisola.
In response, Hichilema assured Chisola that everything had been taken into account and the pact was unstopable.
"I appreciate your concern my brother and I can assure you that we will not disappoint you. In fact our governing committee has been meeting to harmonise our two manifestos. And the last time they met was Wednesday this week last week. So, we will not give chance again to the MMD to continue stealing our money," Hichilema assured.
Hichilema said the UPND-PF Pact government would boost the aviation industry in order to promote tourism.
"I believe that there is a lot of revenue we can get from our tourism sector. But before we think of improving it we should consider boosting our aviation industry. I believe in a national flag career rather than a national airline. You can have a national flag career and yet it is privately owned," Hichilema said. "And we shall remove visa fees on our tourism products. IF you remove visa fees on tourism you will have increased traffic and more earnings than when you maintain this fee. This fee has hindered a lot of tourist from visiting Zambia and the country has lost out on revenue."
Hichilema further said his government would increase constituency development fund from the current K600 million to K5 billion.