HH and the UPND leadership: the greatest threat to our national security
By Azwell Banda,
Hakainde Hichilema is leading this country along a path travelled by countries that have failed to avoid extreme mass poverty, grotesque inequalities, systemic and structural unemployment, racism, tribalism, regionalism, and extreme national divisions; all which inevitably lead to extreme poverty and violent crimes, civil wars and permanent political instability.
Hichilema and his UPND leaders are destroying our nascent fragile national unity and dividing the country along pro-colonial, pro-capitalism, pro-imperialist camp on one side, and anti-colonial, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism camp on the other side: camps whose differences can only be resolved through civil war because these differences are irreconcilable. He has become the greatest security threat this country has ever elected as its President. Hichilema appears to have found the elusive formula Africans have been searching for, for more than 500 years, for working with rich South African, United States and European white people whom he thinks can make Zambians, who are largely African, rich.
When Hichilema was in Cape Town recently at the Africa Mining Indaba where he was cheaply pawning off our minerals, why did he not ask to be taken to some truly Black and African communities in Cape Town such as Bonteheuwel, Delft, Michell Plains, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Langa, Mfuleni, Joe Slovo, Dunoon and Crossroads? Then Hichilema would have gotten a glimpse of what his rich white South African friends are capable of turning Zambia into, soon; if Zambians do not constitutionally remove him from power very soon.
Why is Hichilema not dialoguing with the African political parties in South Africa such as the Pan African Congress, Azania, Azapo, the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters to learn why after exactly 370 years rich white South Africans have made South Africa one of the world’s richest countries in minerals, the most unequal country in the world with the majority Black and African people (more than 90 per cent of the population) wallowing in poverty and whites who are less than 10 per cent of the population, living in heaven on earth. The majority of Africans, 28 years after the 1994 ‘democratic breakthrough’ in South Africa are still trapped in impoverished townships and shacks, own less than three per cent of the value of shares traded at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, own less than 30 per cent of land, and have the lowest education standards compared to all other races. Rich white people have refused to share wealth and land with Africans!
Incredibly, Hakainde Hichilema thinks rich South Africans will help him make Zambians’ lives better than the painful lives they have created for Africans in South Africa, for 370 years! Nothing, whatsoever, stops Hakainde Hichilema from talking to African trade union federations such as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) both of whom have practical knowledge of the brutalities of South African white racial and colonial capitalism. These trade union federations know the Oppenheimers very well.
Hichilema has gone ahead instead and re-invited Anglo-American Corporation to return to Zambia, a country they once savaged and whose copper mining economy they collapsed during the reckless Chiluba privatisation saga. Hichilema and his friends have ceded Zambia’s economic sovereignty to the IMF. They have not published the full details and cause to be nationally debated, the agreements they have made with the IMF upon which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will place Zambia on its programme. Instead, they want Zambia, under a shroud of secrecy, to swiftly move straight into an IMF programme. Zambia is no stranger to the evil IMF programmes. We need the full details of the agreement Hichilema and his minister of finance have made with the IMF; once beaten twice shy!
What is clear is that Hakainde has handed over control of our public finances to the IMF: this is a necessity for the IMF programme to succeed. Further, part of the demand under this requirement is that the UPND government must be able to collect tax, consistently, at a certain level. We need to know these details to understand how our public finances will be messed up by the IMF.
What are the key economic policy agreements Hichilema has made with the IMF to qualify for its programme? We need details of how much economic sovereignty Hichilema has ceded to the IMF. We know a raft of austerity measures are already in place including the removal of subsidies from fuels and electricity. State control of the availability, cost and price of fuels and electricity is central to any economic recovery programme Zambia must embark upon. Zesco is on its way to being fully privatised.
The UPND government is giving up energy sovereignty to foreign money and Zambian capitalists so that they can reap the highest possible profits from their investments in the energy sector. Meanwhile, they understand very well that millions of Zambians, actually more than 14 million out of the 19 million Zambian population, have no access to electricity. They do not care that the removal of government control of the price of electricity and removal of electricity subsidies will drastically reduce further the number of Zambians who have access to electricity.
The loss of economic sovereignty is already leading to a massive rise in the cost of living and doing business, threatening the few formal jobs Zambia still has, and deepening poverty in the country. Only Hichilema and his friends think that Zambians are so dull and stupid that they can suffer endlessly without reacting. HH and his UPND leaders are horribly wrong: Zambians are not born with genes of endless tolerance to suffering and of non-violence, like any human population, we have our collective tolerance limits!
It is now patently clear that Hakainde and his UPND leaders lied to Zambians, they used false pretences to win elections: they promised to make life easier for Zambians and to increase economic opportunities for Zambians. Today they are telling us we have to wait for the IMF programme and foreign investments for three, five and perhaps ten years for jobs and economic opportunities to appear in Zambia! In fact, we are told they have no plan B, should the IMF decide not to put Zambia on its programme.
Our copper mines are the economic heart and soul of Zambia. Instead of consolidating state control of our key copper mines, Hichilema is busy working hard to give the mines to his foreign friends. The Patriotic Front (PF) chaotically begun the process of getting back our mines from foreign money. Hichilema is doing everything possible to hand over our mining assets, ignoring completely our entire history of foreign copper mining and how they have plundered our copper, looted our labour in the mines, polluted our soils and rivers and left the country impoverished after a history of more than 100 years of copper mining. You have to be an impenetrable brain of a special kind not to learn anything from our history of copper mines, foreign money and how Zambia has been ransacked, polluted and left beaten and poor since its creation as a British mining and farming colony.
Hichilema has no respect for Africans and their capacity to think and manage their resources. He is comfortable with rich South African whites who have kept Africans who comprise 81 per cent of the population of South Africa in conditions of incredible cruel racial poverty for more than 370 years, since 1652. Hichilema thinks we are a slow, lazy people used to government spoon feeding. Meanwhile, he is using government to give his already rich mining friends favourable tax conditions and mineral rights to extract our minerals to make themselves richer.
To protect himself, his family and friends and his rich white sponsors and foreign money in Zambia, Hichilema has allowed the US Army to set up an Africa Command Security Corporation office in Lusaka, Zambia. Hichilema is planting seeds of violent divisions in Zambia by the manner he is managing our government and handing over to the IMF and foreign money our natural resources, economy and sovereignty. He has become the greatest threat to our national security. He must be removed from government, constitutionally, soon.
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