[times of zambia] PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has said Government has nothing to hide about the privatisation of Zambia Telecommunication Company (Zamtel) because it has a duty to tell the truth to the people of Zambia.
And President Banda has called on Ndola residents to turn up in large numbers to welcome Botswana President Ian Khama, who is today expected to officially open the Zambia International Trade Fair in Ndola(ZITF).
Mr Banda said in Ndola yesterday it was public knowledge that US$97 million out of the proceeds of the sale of Zamtel would be paid upfront to the workers before the company became fully operational under the new ownership.
Speaking when he addressed the crowd that welcomed him at Ndola International Airport yesterday, Mr Banda said some opposition leaders who were corrupt and used some dubious means to benefit from the privatisation of some Zambian companies were now raising unnecessary suspicions on the privatisation of Zamtel.
"Some opposition leaders such Hakainde Hichilema (UPND president) have no moral right to question the privatisation of Zamtel which has been done in a transparent manner. HH was involved in the privatisation of 18 Zambian companies and he used to pay himself upfront even before the workers were paid," he said.
Mr Banda challenged Mr Hichilema to tell the people of Zambia the truth about his role in the privatisation process and how he amassed wealth after being entrusted to undertake the exercise.
"The other leader of the pact must explain a lot of things about himself to the people of Zambia if they are to truly trust him," he said.
Mr Banda said only those who are politically blind were deceiving the people about the MMD Government's performance and ability to deliver.
He said the MMD was the only political party which had supporters in every province, district and villages unlike other parties which had members from sections of the country.
The president was geared to meet the opposition during next year's election because there was a lot of time to campaign and emerge victorious.
He called on MMD members not to be intimidated and provoked by the opposition because they (MMD) were in the majority and had been given the mandate to govern Zambia for a long period of time now.
The MMD was ready to meet the opposition in the forthcoming Chifubu Constituency by-election and urged the local party leadership to choose a suitable candidate.
President Banda said unlike the negative reports from some sections of the media about his foreign visits, Zambia enjoyed a warm relationship with all her neighbours.
Mr Banda said incessant attacks on him from some sections of the media and their puppet political parties did not bother him.
Speaking earlier, Copperbelt Minister Mwansa Mbulakulima said Government policies were working for the people and that a programme of informing the public about what the Government was doing had been put in place.
MMD provincial chairperson, Joseph Chilambwe said those insulting President Banda should know that it was only God who appointed leaders.
ZITF, chairperson Phesto Musonda, Commerce Minister Felix Mutati, Energy Minister Kenneth Konga and Science and Technology Minister Brian Chituwo and other Government and MMD leaders welcomed the president.
We've Nothing to Hide On Zamtel - Banda