Zambia: Hakainde Hichilema Lied to the Nation - Sata

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema lied when he said that constitutional office holders have been awarded a 100 per cent salary hike.

Mr Hichilma had claimed earlier in the week that the President and his Cabinet had issued a Statutory Instrument (SI) under which they had increased their salaries by more than 100 per cent with effect from April 1, 2012.

But Mr Sata, who personally distributed the SI to the members of the media and some of his ministers, said there was nowhere in the SI where it indicated that he and other constitutional office bearers had received a 100 per increment.

He said the opposition party leader had contributed to the downfall of several companies in Zambia through privatisation.

"President Chiluba was so generous to trust HH with the responsibility to privatise several companies like Luanshya Mine, Intercontinental Livingstone and many others, but little did he realise that the young man could not be trusted.

"That is why he has the biggest farm in Kalomo with so many animals that he fraudulently acquired, he was born a liar and I would like you to read that (SI) and defend the country by telling the truth," Mr Sata told his ministers.

He said when he was first elected to Parliament in 1983, he was told by the then Speaker to tell the truth but was surprised that some politicians and leaders were failing to be factual.

Mr Sata said this when he swore-in five deputy ministers and a national coordinator for the Disaster Management Mitigation Unit (DMMU) at State House yesterday.

He said the deputy ministers were lucky because there was no opposition in Zambia at the moment, otherwise they could have been voted out by 2016.

He called on the newly-appointed deputy ministers not to sit in their offices but to go out in rural areas to find out and address the problems facing the people.

The President said Mr Hichilema was a liar who had failed to be factual on the recent adjustment of the salaries for constitutional office bearers and was just bent on misleading the public.

Those sworn-in were Bahati Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Kalaba as Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and his counterpart from Chinsali, Christopher Mulenga as Health Deputy Minister.

Kawambwa MP, Nickson Chilangwa and Stephen Kapyongo of Shiwang'andu Constituency were sworn in as Deputy Ministers of Home Affairs while Pambashe MP, Ronald Chitotela is Deputy Minister of Labour.

Mr Sata swore-in Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZFCA) president, Patrick Kangwa as the new national coordinator of the DMMU.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska said the increase in salaries for constitutional office bearers arose out of the need to rationalise and harmonise conditions of service across the three arms of Government.

Dr Msiska said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that the Government had taken the position to increase the salaries after observing the distortions associated with current salaries and conditions of service in the public service.

"In order to ensure that the measures taken to adjust these salaries and conditions of service do not damage the national economy, the Government intends to implement these measures over a 10-year period," he said.

He said it was important to note that the recent adjustment of salaries for political leaders should be understood within the overall framework of rationalisation and harmonisation of salaries and conditions of service.

Dr Msiska said 37.7 per cent increament was awarded to the salary of the Speaker in October last year in an effort to rationalise and harmonise conditions of service between the Judiciary and the Legislature.

The move, consequently resulted into the need to adjust upwards the salaries of all those associated with Parliament to maintain vertical relativities.

"As a consequence, all those who are associated with Parliament on the political side including the Vice-President, Deputy Speaker, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, had their salaries adjusted upwards by the same margin.

"These new adjustments to salaries mean that the President's salary will fall far below the Speaker and the Chief Justice's salary, (and) to avoid this situation, the President's salary was also adjusted as part of the process of preparing for the rationalisation and harmonisation of conditions of service across the three arms of Government," he said.

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