THE Rainbow Party on the Copperbelt says President Edgar Lungu’s pockets are doing far better than most businesses in the world.
Provincial youth vice secretary for information and publicity David Chishimba stated that it was unbelievable that Lungu accumulated so much wealth within two years of his presidency at a time when the economy was struggling.
He wondered how President Lungu, who failed to settle a debt of K36,000 in 2009, was today worth millions of kwacha.
“Now a man who couldn’t even manage to settle a K36,080.42 debt in 2009 before PF came into power, in 2015 elections he declared assets of a whooping K10.98 million, and in 2016 elections, his assets magically leaped to K23.7 million. The economy of his pockets is doing better than any business in the world when it comes to growth in terms of percentage. At the moment, it’s anyone’s guess how much the man is worth now, and by 2021 if his income continues to grow at the same rate, he is likely to be the richest man in the country. This is ridiculous and unacceptable. If the ACC wasn’t mostly an institution used to poach down individuals with political divergent views, they could have investigated the miracle money of the President. Since people are in desperate need of money, if the President is using a legal formula, let him share with his countrymen so that we can also benefit massively from the same,” Chishimba stated.
He recalled that in 2009, the Legal Practitioners Committee of the Law Association of Zambia found President Lungu wanting for illegally deducting money from his client, for which his practicing licence was withdrawn.
“On 16th April 2009, the Legal Practitioners Committee (LPC) of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) received a complaint from a Ms Wendy Kanyanta against Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu claiming he had illegally obtained fees of K36,080.42 from compensation meant for her despite already being paid costs of K40,000.00 from the unsuccessful party, Lafarge Cement, who were her former employers. At the next sitting of the LPC on 18th September 2009, it was proven that Mr Lungu did deduct his client’s monies illegally despite receiving costs of K40,000.00 from Lafarge,”
“The LPC declared Mr Lungu’s conduct entirely illegal after referring to Rule 17(1) of the Legal Practitioners Practice Rules, 2002 which provides that, ‘a Practitioner shall inform clients about charges or fees and the basis for such charges on taking instructions.’ Mr Lungu’s failure to inform the client in writing without reasonable cause amounted to professional misconduct or conduct unbefitting a lawyer. It was ordered that Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu should pay back that amount within sixty days from 4th March 2010 when the ruling was made or face further disciplinary proceedings. In contravention of the order of the LPC, Mr Lungu only paid K9,000.00 of the K36,080.42. This forced Ms Kanyanta to sue in the subordinate court under cause no. 2010/CRMP/688 on 6th August 2010 for the balance of K27,080.42. Mr Lungu admitted guilt to the claim in court on 19th August 2010 and applied to settle the debt in instalments of K5,000.00. The president is a man who is able to swindle a poor woman who came to him for help. We shouldn’t be surprised if he swindles the country at large.”
He also wondered why the government had not acted on the maize scandal involving exports to Malawi.
“Concerning the maize-gate scandal, early this year, the Malawian Minister of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda admitted in parliament that Zambian President Edgar Lungu and his agriculture minister Dora Siliya played an active role in the controversial deal which saw Malawian taxpayers pay double the price of 100,000 metric tones of maize in the $34.5 million maize deal. Malawian President, Peter Mutharika, then with immediate effect fired Chaponda who was implicated alongside the Zambian government in the maize-gate scandal,”
“According to his propensity to benefit from maize deals, I am not surprised that the President is ready and able to watch the agribusiness of poor farmers be crippled by the parastatal FRA which was formed in 1995 to insure food security for the country and income for the farmers. It’s not surprising that he can be that cold hearted to an extent of even taking to the media to say that he is not the one who made the decision to lower the flow of the price for a 50KG bag of mealie meal from K85 to k60 when FRA being a parastatal cannot make independent decisions without consulting the government.”
He stated that Zambians must begin to speak for farmers regardless of their party affiliation.
“This issue should not be sidelined and everyone should speak for farmers regardless of the political affiliation as long as it takes because its an issue which has impact on both the food security and economy of the country. How is the poor farmer who cannot manage to export his few bags of maize going to cope after making a loss of about 30 per cent when prices of most things are increasing? Electricity tariffs have been increased, eduction is becoming more and more expensive every year. Mr president, hear the cries of these people who voted for you because they thought you will be coming to their aid when they have a grievance,”
“It is futile and detrimental for the nation to be represented by individuals whose priority lies in their pockets, to negotiate national economic engagements on our behalf. It is a national tragedy to be represented by unpatriotic individuals who only pretend to care about the poor when there are elections. Let this be a lesson to us about the people we entrust these powers with because there is nothing better than a good lesson. Countrymen and women, brace yourselves till 2021.”