Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has turned down an arranged ZNBC Sunday Interview programme that wanted him to discuss matters of privatisation.
ZNBC’s invitation to Mr Hichilema followed the party’s request, through secretary general Stephen Katuka, that the national broadcaster must feature their leader to respond to allegations FDD leader Edith Nawakwi raised against him.
But on the day of the interview on Saturday, the party changed its position and made representations to ZNBC Management.
They said Hichilema was unable to present himself to the ZNBC Interview as the matters he intended to discuss were now in a Court of law.
The UPND team led Party Chairperson, Mutale Nalumango, Charles Kakoma, journalist Clayton Hamasaka and two lawyers, instead said the party should be given chance to choose another person to represent the party.
The many matters raised by Ms Nawakwi and others, seek answers from Mr. Hichilema on the role he played in the privatization process.
There are strong allegations that Mr. Hichilema as Consultant and Evaluator, grossly profited from the privatization process by under-valuing state assets, selling state assets to himself and his associates, failing to declare commercial interests and failing to make disclosures in assets that he was interested in or his associates.
Mr. Hichilema, as lead Consultant and Evaluator for the Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA)was involved in the sale of Musio-O-Tunya Intercontinental Hotel, the sale of ZCCM non-core assets such Lunsemfwa Hydro and ZCCM Power Division (CEC) of sold to 5 ZCCM Executives.
As CEO and Managing Partner of Coopers & Lybrand and later Grant Thornton, Mr. Hichilema was liquidator of the agriculture Bank, Lima Bank that had various assets including farms.
His firm also appointed Christopher Mulenga as Receiver Manager for RAMCOZ in Luanshya, a process marred in allegations of plunder and looting.
ZNBC wanted to interview him on all allegations including how he acquired former state farms and his recent acquisition of a Kalomo Farm that has seen farmers evicted from the land.
However, his lawyer Mulambo Haimbe told ZNBC Management that Mr. Hichilema could not be interviewed on any matters related to his role in the privatisation process as this would be contemptuous to the court process.