ZITUKULE Consortium is deeply disturbed and concerned that some government officials have continued to push the privatisation narrative in public discourse at the expense of current
challenges facing the country, including poverty, low productivity and free fall of the Kwacha, says Nicholas Phiri.
Phiri, the executive director, said President Lungu must call for a national economic indaba immediately in order to find ways of coming out of the current economic quagmire the country was faced with.
He said it was totally unacceptable that government officials, elected to promote and protect the well-being of citizens could be spending time discussing the opposition UPND leader Hakainde
Hichilema when the nation was bleeding economically and majority citizens were becoming more and more impoverished.
“This should not be allowed to continue.
It is our considered view that the sustained campaign by government officials on privatization and calls for a commission of inquiry focusing on one individual could be a deliberate and well calculated scheme meant to not only divert citizens’ attention from real issues affecting the nation, but also to justify and lay grounds for a possible arrest and harm to the UPND leader,” Phiri said.
He noted that as things stand in the country today, any move by government to arrest and or harm the UPND leader might not be received well by the citizenry.
Phiri said those calling for a commission of inquiry on privatisation must have not forgotten how taxpayers’ money had been wasted on numerous politically motivated commissions of inquiries in the past eight years with no tangible outcome.
“What has the nation benefited from the commission of inquiry on voting patterns and
political violence when the status quo remains the same or even becoming worse? We wish to advise government to direct resources and energy on resolving the numerous challenges facing our people today, including long hours of electricity blackouts, the ever-depreciating local currency, procurement corruption and debt management, among other things,” he said.
Phiri noted that arresting or planning to harm Hichilema would not launder the image of those in power today ahead of the 2021 general election.
He further noted that unlike in 2016, arresting the leader of the biggest opposition party 10 months before the election on flimsy grounds would destabilise national peace and unity and put the country in big trouble.