We now can’t afford a smile on Christmas under Lungu – HH

We now can’t afford a smile on Christmas under Lungu – HH

By Malawo Malawo

HAKAINDE Hichilema says Zambians now cannot afford even simple smiles during Christmas because of President Edgar Lungu’s poor governance.

And Hichilema says Zambians must brace themselves for hunger in 2017 due to the PF’s poor agricultural policies.

In his Christmas message to Zambians yesterday, Hichilema, the UPND president, stated that no one had been spared by the poor governance of the PF as people in villages had also been hit by the disorganised agriculture sector.

“Due to lack of quality leadership, due to poor governance from Mr Edgar Lungu, Zambians can no longer even afford simple smiles and quality times with their families. People in villages, who are peasant farmers and depend on government for farming inputs, but the PF and Mr Lungu have not delivered such. So how do you expect such people to celebrate Christmas? It is difficult for them to do so,” Hichilema said.

“Think of a villager who has not received maize seed and fertiliser; I do not think they can even have rice and chicken as was in the past as they perhaps have to now kneel down asking our Almighty God to speak to Lungu and open his eyes to see how he has failed to manage our country. We can no longer appreciate the value of Christmas as was the case in the past due to economic challenges and bad governance being exhibited by PF and Lungu. Despite all this, I wish you a merry Christmas Zambia, although amidst numerous challenges inflicted on us by PF and Mr Edgar Lungu.”

He said he could not celebrate Christmas with the less privileged this year because the police had planned to disturb any of his activities.

“I was scheduled to go and celebrate Christmas with the orphans and the old in Matero, but I have received intelligence information that Edgar Lungu has ordered police to come and teargas me and the people there. I would not want to see people shot at by police the way it happened at the High Court,” Hichilema said.

And in a press statement issued on Friday, Hichilema stated that late distribution of farming inputs by the PF government clearly spelt the impending adverse hunger situation in 2017.

He, however, observed that it was not surprising that the government had failed to deliver farming inputs at the prescribed time as “they lack understanding of the agricultural sector”.

“This late delivery of farming inputs by PF [government] means that the country will have lower maize yields next year, and in turn reduce the chances of our country being the food basket of the southern African region,” said Hichilema.

“It’s shocking that despite this exercise being budgeted for, the PF government has failed to meet the farmers’ expectations but has instead disappointed them by distributing the maize seed very late when the planting season is almost over in some geographical areas. This clearly shows how the PF government undermines the agricultural sector