PF turning government into a cash cow, says Chishimba.
By Prosper Miyoba
THE PF is behaving like vultures looting peoples’ resources by selling state-owned companies that helped them during the August 11 elections to their predetermined buyers, says Saviour Chishimba.
And Chishimba, United Progressive People leader, said the PF have turned government into a cash cow for quick money.
In an interview, Chishimba named the companies earmarked for privatisation as Zesco, Indeni Petroleum Refinery, Zambia State Insurance Corporation, Zamtel, Zambia Railways and TAZAMA pipeline.
“There are people today in this government [PF government] who are behaving like vultures; their interest is to loot peoples’ resources,” Chishimba said. “PF has turned the government into a cash cow for making quick money through illegal tender awarding to cadres and those who helped them during the campaigns.”
He claimed that UPP had information about the arranged buyers of Zesco, Indeni and TAZAMA, under deals that had been concluded.
“We have the information and evidence to the effect that PF wants to sell six national assets, state-owned enterprises to companies that funded their campaigns. They want to sell these assets on the pretext that they are making loses,” Chishimba, the former Kasama Central PF member of parliament, said.
“They have already predetermined who will buy Zesco, Indeni and Tazama and the agreement is that these companies [the buyers] will hike electricity tariffs to 300 per cent and fuel pump price so that they can make their profits before 2021. According to the information we have, the pump price for fuel will rise to K21 by January next year.”
He said if parastatals were making loses, the government was supposed to publish their balance sheets so that people could decide on their future.
“If the privatisation of these parastatals is genuine, why not publishing the balance sheets to show the people the losses they were making. And if the privatisation was in good faith, why not leave the process to ZDA [Zambia Development Agency] than State House engaging in it? The law is clear that any matter to do with privatisation, the board of [ZDA] is supposed to handle it.”
He said Zambians knew that privatizing state-owned companies never benefitted the country.
“Zambians are not new to issues of privatisation. The MMD government sold Zamtel; who did it benefit? No one…What LapGreen [The Libyan company] did was to lay off workers in order to make quick money. And when the PF came to power, they repossessed it and people got back their jobs,” Chishimba said.
“So the lesson is that we have sold these companies before and it never benefitted us. Therefore, selling them again is another punishment to Zambians. Zambia is now like a circus where they [politicians] are deciding to share and now on this circus, they have taken all the fresh Zambian bones, now they want even to break the bones and eat the marrow. They don’t care about the people of Zambia but all they care about are their pockets.”
He advised Zambians to be vigilant “before the PF finishes even the little that was left at the moment”.
“Zambians should begin taking matters of national interest seriously because if they remain idle, even the little that the country has remained with will be looted with impunity,” said Chishimba.