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ZAMBIANS will see the positive effect of decentralizing funds from the Local Government to the communities in the next two to three years, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

And President Hichilema has dismissed assertions that most of his appointments and reinstatements were done on tribal lines.

Speaking to journalists shortly after his arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from the United Kingdom, President Hichilema said those that criticized the 2022 national budged and claimed that the increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from K1.6 million to K25.7 million per constituency was illegal, were ignorant.

The President wondered how some people could sink so low as to engage in such low levels of debate.

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He said contrary to claims by the armchair critics, the budget was legal under the Budget Act and that his Government intends to decentralize economic activities by bringing them closer to the constituencies. To Page 3

The President said he was optimistic that a wider allocation of the CDF to K25.7 million from a prior K1.6 million would revive the country’s economy and improve the lives of the local people soon.

“Everything in that budget is legal. So, if somebody said that there is an illegality in the budget, then I am not too sure if they understand what they are saying or what they want. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand where people come from,  theirconceptualization in their mind when they raise issues like that. How can anyone argue like that?

“What we have done is dramatic,  it has never happened before since independence- to move the money away from a small clique of thieves and corrupt people in Lusaka and take it to the people, in 156 constituencies. That is the difference we bring on the table and you will see the positive effect of that in two, three years,” Mr Hichilema said.

Meanwhile, the Head of State took a swipe at those questioning his appointments and reinstatements which are alleged to be based on  tribal lines, describing them as a ‘clique of thieves’ who wanted to continue looting the country since independence.

“All Zambians are entitled to jobs and we must not make an issue because that is a human right. That’s mischief by the tribalists, the hegemonists, who did not want this country to be run by anyone else other than a clique of thieves like them. And I call them a clique of thieves, because they have been feeding off public resources since Independence and they don’t think that someone else or other people can run this country in a better way,” Mr Hichilema said. 

President Hichilema also said he was not a hurry to appoint Permanent Secretaries as his preoccupation had been to first work on the economy, immediately he took over office two months ago.

He said his administration would never make haphazard appointments, but take time to ensure they made well-thought decisions.

The Head of State also clarified that he would not appoint Police Commissioners as they would be appointed by the police command and Prisons commission.

“We want to reduce the direct number of presidential appointments in the Commission. That was an anomaly which was not normal but already you believe it was normal. This was only altered a few years ago,” he said.

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