Hichilema Speaks Out on Govt’s Plans to Purchase Aircrafts
The opposition UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has delivered a scathing attack on the government for the planned purchase of aircrafts among them a Presidential jet.
Hichilema has labelled the act as being a misplacement of priorities.
The Government has allegedly signed a contract for the purchase of five Russian made super jets.
Four of the five aircrafts are Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger planes while one is a VIP version for President Edgar Lungu.
The other four planes will be used for the soon to be re-launched state owned Zambia Airways.
PF’S PURCHASE OF PLANES SMELLS CORRUPTION AND A MISPLACED PRIORITY.
The pursuit for luxuries by the Patriotic Front Party (PF’s), when our country’s economy is in dire straits is beyond belief. The purchase of a sixty five million United States dollars each, gulfstream aircraft is not only a misplaced priority but smells of corruption too.
How can a caring government opt for luxury when the people have no food in their homes, children are out of schools because parents cannot afford the fees. Hospitals and clinics have no medicines and the youth have no jobs, this is being heartless by the PF.
We want to put this into perspective. That amount of money PF is wasting could have paid for the over 22,000 students at UNZA for four years or pay for running costs of 60 hospitals of Ndola Central Hospital’s size, for a year. This is what we mean that this country can afford free education up to tertiary level and free health care. What we miss is a leadership that cares for its people and know how to prioritise. Those expensive pieces of equipment will also cost more to maintain and run.
We would like to remind those in Government that public office does not mean plundering public resources and placing their interest first. Public service is about serving the public and ensuring that resources are probably deployed, not buying luxury items.
We understand that corruption is embedded in the PF leadership but we call on the country to detest this regime’s greedy and insatiable appetite for plundering public resources at the expense of poor people.
These aircraft will be paid for by the very over taxed poor who will never see the benefits and therefore, it’s only imperative that this move is completely halted if not, then Zambians will do so as they are the rightful owners and not the select few.
And this time around we say running a country must not be business as usual. This is the mathematics behind this wastage. A student at UNZA is paid K22.50 a day, they are in school for 258 days per year on average that works out to K5,805 a year and 23,220 for a four year programme holding inflation constant. The cost of the gulfstream is US$65 million or K767 million at K11.80 to a dollar. Meaning that the gulfstream can pay bursaries for 33,031 students, that is UNZA and CBU combined for 4 years.
Muleishiba UTUNTU bane!
Source: Zambia Reports