PRESIDENT Michael Sata should step down as Party and Republican President if he wants his retirement house now, says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
The law regarding retirement homes stipulates that only a retired President who was not in active Politics and was not in receipt of a Government salary qualified for the House.
Mr. Hichilema said he was surprised that PF Members of Parliament and other compromised opposition members were in support of the illegality when the Constitution was very clear on the matter.
He said that if President Sata was still interested in acquiring his retirement house before his tenure of term ends the best he should do was to step down as republican president.
“The constitution on this matter is very clear. It says that a retirement house of a president can only be done when someone (President) retires from active politics. And for now Mr. Sata is republican President and PF party leader, so he doesn’t qualify. He is still in active politics,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema observed that it had become frightening that the PF were using Parliament and law makers to support illegalities. In an interview, Mr. Hichilema said that politicians in the PF were naïve for choosing to exhibit high levels of ignorance over the construction of the retirement house of President Sata when the law was clear on the matter.
He said that the K 1.4 billion allocated to President Sata’s retirement house was illegal and that would not change the status quo. Mr. Hichilema said that such allocations when someone was still in office were an insult to the people ofZambia, especially retirees who have worked for the country for over 25 years without getting their terminal benefits.
“We have people who retired a long time before the PF formed government and have not been given their retirement and today you want to give Mr. Sata a retirement house who is still serving and in active politics. That is immorality of its highest order and even people supporting and advocating for that should be ashamed of their conduct because it is immoral,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema said that the opposition UPND would not support the move because it was total corruption and abuse of office by those with privileges to be in parliament and in the corridors of power.
“We have given directives to our MPs not to support such illegalities because it will hunt them. President Sata will not get his retirement house unless he resigns as republican President and PF party leader.
“We shall humbly and honourably support the allocation when he has left office but not when he is still in office and why the rush by the way? He has only served for less than 2 years. He still has three more years to go. What does he want to do which the people ofZambiadon’t know about this scheme?” he wondered.