HH must explain riches

THE Patriotic Front (PF) has accused UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema of deliberately failing to declare a comprehensive list of his assets which form part of his K73.16 million financial empire declared to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

PF member for media and information committee Sunday Chanda alleged that Mr Hichilema had failed to explain to Zambians how he accumulated his riches because the UPND leader was unable to account for his assets.

Mr Chanda said Mr Hichilema’s wealth had made a sudden double jump, to K73.16 million from K38 million which was declared in 2015 for the presidential election following the death of President Michael Sata.

He said it was hypocritical for the UPND leadership to maliciously claim that President Edgar Lungu had more than doubled his worth in the one and half years he had been in State House because the Head of State had declared K10.9 million when he run for the presidency in 2014.

Mr Chanda said that unlike Mr Hichilema whose wealth he claimed was accrued from the privatisation exercise during the MMD administration, President Lungu had shown transparency by presenting a comprehensive list of his assets and liabilities.

He said because of the fluctuation of the exchange rate in the last few years, it was economically reasonable that President Lungu could have his assets and liabilities accrue to K23 million.

“The UPND may wish to know that the assets for President Lungu were valued at K10.9 million in 2015. Inflationary and exchange rate fluctuations alone can make the assets jump to over K20 million. But for Mr Hichilema, his wealth is unexplained,” Mr Chanda said.

He said while the UPND and Mr Hichilema could not account for his wealth, President Lungu had exhibited modesty and honour by committing himself to accountability.

Mr Chanda alleged that the UPND leader had not declared his real wealth in what he termed as “shell companies”.

He said it had emerged that Mr Hichilema owed former BP Zambia (now Puma Zambia Plc) millions of kwacha through Saturnia Regna Pension Trust which he claimed the UPND leader had shares through proxies.

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