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‘Never again!’ Hichilema vows to stop corruption, empowers judiciary to despatch cases within a space of 5 months


President Hakainde Hichilema, says never again will the country find itself in such a crisis where debt levels become so unsustainable and burden the treasury.

Hichilema noted that the huge debt had burdened the treasury and hindered governments ability to serve its citizens effectively.

This is contained in a statement issued by Secretary to the Secretary to the Cabinet, Patrick Mulenga, in Lusaka on Wednesday.

He warned that government would not tolerate such circumstances, neither would it tolerate corruption or the theft of public resources.

“Part of our commitment to fighting corruption is the judiciary’s enhanced capacity to prosecute cases within a space of 5 months and more will be done to bring down the scourge,” Hichilema said.

He called for prudence in the management of resources across all ministries and government departments.

Hichilema said government had an enhanced opportunity to grow the economy under a new image, and to return investor confidence in the post-debt restructuring era.

The Head of State restated that the law enforcement and prosecution authorities would act swiftly against those who would choose to engage in corrupt practices and abuse their authority.

“Our message to would-be offenders is clear. You are on your own if your break the law, regardless of your political affiliation, ethnicity or status,” Hichilema reiterated.

He said the country had began a new chapter in history following the successfully completion of the debt restructuring process.

The Head of State stated that this achievement had fulfilled a significant portion of government’s commitment to the people of Zambia.

“Over the past two years and six months, we relentlessly engaged in complex negotiations with our official creditors, as well as private creditors, which includes the bondholders,” Hichilema said.

He noted that the efforts had led to an agreement to restructure the debt over an extended period and for a lesser amount, saving the country and its treasury billions of dollars.

Read More: ‘Not end of the road,’ IMF says Zambia still has more work to do to finalise debt restructuring

Hichilema stated that the pivotal moment offered the country the chance to shift the collective mindset regarding the management of public affairs.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the unsustainable debt situation that we inherited, was brought about by exorbitant expenditure, mismanagement of public resources, maladministration and indeed, corruption,” he said.

He assured that nation that government remained steadfast and committed to improving the lives of all the citizens.

“Our better days are ahead of us and we call on all our citizens to support this agenda for the betterment of our country,” the Head of State said.

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