…as he sings Hichilema successes
By: Hilma Tuukondjele
Information and publicity secretary for Zambia’s ruling party United Party for National Development (UNDP), Joseph Kalimbwe, says one of the mistakes the public makes during elections is making their emotions when voting.
Kalimbwe said this during the Eagle FM’s Home Run show on Monday.
“One of the mistakes that the public makes is that they use their emotions when voting. You can not vote for someone because they are humble. You have to vote for someone because they have ideas and are capable of voting,” he said.
Kalimbwe, who also works at the office of Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, stressed setting up new standards is not only for Zambia but for other countries as well.
“We have always believed that we must engage in honest politics. Being honest with people, particularly the mass of people that felt the pain and frustration of failed Zambian economy under the former Zambian president, so we are very honest with them,” he said.
Edgar Lungu was Zambia’s former President before Hichilema took over last year.
Speaking on the currency of Zambia, he said for the first time in a long time that the Zambian Kwacha is the best-performing currency in Africa and the second best performing in the world.
“Those are the aspects of where the country comes from under President Hakainde Hichilema.”
Kalimbwe added that some people in Zambia still feel like money fills their pockets when a person wins the election adding that they don’t understand that change is a process.
“Zambia has been overly independent on copper since 1964, ” the party said in their UPND manifesto; let us not be dependent on copper. We can, for instance, look at the tourism and agriculture sector,” he adds.
According to him, before the Zambian elections in 2021, the government had promised to make education free.
“After winning the election in August 2021, in January 2022, free education was implemented in Zambia. Young people and their parents no longer worry about where they will get their school fees. All they need to do is wake up, wear their uniforms and go to school. That is what is happening in Zambian schools.”
Kalimbwe said the country has a constituency development fund (CDF) to get youth on board regarding agriculture.
“The government gives money to the constituencies and they increased the constituency fund to around 1.1 million Kwacha and since they got into office, it was increased to 25 million Kwacha,” he stated.
Speaking on investors, he said there has been massive interest from international investors in the Zambian economy, which has resulted in the opening of a Nickel mine in the North Western province of Zambia.
“It is an open-pit nickel mining project owned by first quantum minerals. The enterprise nickel project is estimated to hold 34.7 million tonnes (Mt) of proven and probable ore reserves grading 0.99% nickel.”
On employment, he said Hichilema employed about 30 000 teachers in the first ten months in office.
“He also employed about 11 000 teachers or healthcare workers to serve people in clinics and hospitals,” said Kalimbwe.
He also revealed that Zambia is one of the countries that owe China a large chunk of money and is the second highest African country to owe China after Angola. China has and still is involved in the affairs of Zambia.
“At first, investors had doubts on whether to invest in the country, but when Hakainde Hichilema took an oath, the investors started having hope again,” he expressed.
At the back of it, he said the country has a huge loan and is beginning to ensure they pay back the loan.
“Two weeks ago, they cancelled a loan from China of about 2.3 billion US dollars to construct a road between Lusaka and the Copper mine. The agreement was cancelled because at the moment, the country does not need it and it’s not urgent.”