Leader of the opposition PeP Sean Tembo has accused leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema (HH) of having swindled the Nation during the privatisation of Mosi-o-Tunya Hotels in Livingstone.
But HH has rubbished these accusation of having done anything wrong in the privatisation programme where he was hired as a Consultant.
Tembo insists HH who is one of the fronter runners in Zambia’s next year presidential has credibility issues saying he is not better placed to be president.
“He also has credibility issues, having evidently swindled the country during the privatization of Mosi-o-Tunya Hotel in Livingstone,” Tembo explained. “We did our research on that transaction and there is no doubt in our minds that the gentleman swindled the nation in that transaction.”
HH has since dragged to court two other opposition leaders – Edith Nawakwi who is also a former Minister of Finance and Chilufya Tayali on the privatisation illigality allegations.
But Tembo says he is sure HH swindled the country on the Mosi-o-Tunya Hotels and that he is ready to prove it in court.
“We are not sure about other allegations but on that Livingstone hotel matter, we are sure and are willing to back it up in court,” said Tembo.
He explains that there is need for any Citizen to serve the country with honour when called upon to do so even in a small capacity.
“Now, as a citizen of this Republic, the State will often call upon you to serve it every now and then. It might be in a small capacity and it might be in a big capacity, but whatever the case, when the State calls upon you to serve it, you need to serve it with distinction and honor,” he says.
Tembo cites US as one country where one cannot run for the presidency if not served in Government before.
“That is why in other countries such as the US, it is often considered a custom that anyone who aspires to be President must have served in the security or defense wings. For example, seven of America’s Presidents after 1945 actually fought in the Second World War. George W Bush was Director of the CIA before he became President. The point here is that you need to have served the State in one capacity or the other to show your suitability for the main job,” he explains.
Tembo says unfortunate when HH was given an opportunity to serve the country he allegedly abused the opportunity.
“When Mr Hichilema was given an opportunity to serve the country by managing part of our privatization, he instead decided to serve his pockets and put his personal interests above those of the State. And now, he is asking to be President. He abused the State once when he was given an opportunity to serve it, surely what are the chances that he will not abuse the State again if given the opportunity to serve as President?”
The issue of privatisation has become a hot with the PF Government hinting on setting up a commission of inquiry.
This however is seen by some people as a witchhunt on HH candidature as the programme was conducted over 25 years ago.