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Lungu ready to engage HH – Lubinda

FORMER President Edgar Lungu is ready to engage with the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema provided
that there is sincerity of heart and mutual respect in the invitation, PF acting president Given Lubinda
has said.
Mr Lubinda says Mr Lungu has always been ready to attend and engage in national events provided that
the people who were extending an invitation to him were ready to reconcile with a pure heart.
On Wednesday, President Hichilema said he recognised President Lungu as the former Head of State
and invited him to be available on national events because Zambians needed his wisdom.
President Hichilema said despite the differences between the two leaders, President Lungu was needed
for the sake of Zambians.
Mr Lubinda, speaking during the PF end of year press briefing in Lusaka yesterday said it did not make
sense to invite the former Head of State to State functions when the party in government had continued
vilifying him to the extent that he was being harassed by law enforcement agencies.
Mr Lubinda said “You can be a friend during the day and be my enemy in the night. True reconciliation
starts with an individual and when you reconcile with yourself, then you can extend it to another
individual that I want to reconcile with you. Even us as PF, we would not be happy if Dr. Lungu meets
with people that are inviting him for a cup of tea and in the night they are castigating him,”
Meanwhile, Mr Lubinda said the UPND government has in the space of one year borrowed US$2.1
billion, an act he said was worrying to imagine and wondered how much Zambians would be indebted at
the end of the first five-year term of the ruling party.
He said what was more worrying was that even after borrowing more than US$2.1 billion from external
sources and having a domestic debt of K79 billion, there was no single major infrastructure development
project that had been initiated.
Mr Lubinda said against the background of lack of any serious infrastructure development initiated
during the last 17 months, there was slightly above US$7 million allocated for infrastructure
development in the 2023 budget.
“One would wonder the kind of projects that will be executed using such a meagre allocation,” he said.
Mr Lubinda the UPND was basing their hopes of an economic turnaround on the International Monetary
Fund bailout programme, external funding, and foreign investments which unfortunately all these were
external and outside the control of Zambia.
He said the much needed and talked about taxes from the mining sector had been allowed to be
transferred to foreign countries by UPND policies of reducing taxation on the mines.
Mr Lubinda said during the year mineral royalty tax was foregone by Zambia because of the UPND’s
reckless decision to make mineral royalty tax deductible and unfortunately this was to happen again in
He said the government was claiming that by Zambia foregoing such huge taxes the country was
attracting foreign investors to produce more than three million tonnes of copper in the next decade.

Mr Lubinda said if the country could not benefit from the current production of around 800, 000 tonnes,
of what use was it to produce three million tonnes.


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