COPPERBELT PF youth secretary Christopher Kalenge says foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba’s decision to pay back the emoluments he got while ministers illegally stayed in office after Parliament dissolved last year must be respected.
And Kitwe PF district secretary Gift Kalumba says Kalaba has taken a magnanimous step to pay back the money and urged other ministers to do the same because that is what Zambians are waiting for.
Kalaba last week wrote Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska asking for modalities of payment following the Constitutional Court’s upholding of its earlier ruling that ministers who stayed in office after dissolution of parliament last year must pay back all salaries and other allowances obtained.
However, President Edgar Lungu has advised the ministers not to pay back the money but instead sue the state.
The PF leadership, according to sources, is now not happy with Kalaba’s decision to pay back the money.
But Copperbelt PF youth secretary Christopher Kalenge has urged youths and other members of the party to respect the rule of law in the country and accept the court’s ruling and the decision made by Kalaba.
“As PF youths, we will respect the rule of law in the country and the decisions made by the courts of law. We have learnt with discomfort reports that some of our members are upset with the decision taken by Hon Harry Kalaba to pay back the money as ruled by the ConCourt. I do understand that the ConCourt passed a judgment on the ministers who stayed on while Parliament was dissolved ahead of the 2016 general elections,” Kalenge said. “It is from this background that I want to appeal to my fellow PF members to respect Hon Kalaba who has voluntarily said he wants to pay back. Hon Kalaba’s decision should be respected and not to divide us.”
He further urged members of the ruling party not to attack the Bahati member of parliament but to foster the agenda of unity.
Kalenge counseled youths countrywide and in the ruling party against politics of division.
“We are one family and our objective should be to help President Edgar Lungu deliver to the Zambian people. Hon Kalaba has the right to respect the court’s decision, so we should also respect his decision to pay back. Our interest should not be to fight Hon Kalaba, but to foster the agenda of our great leader and President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Lungu,” said Kalenge.
And Kalumba said the decision to pay back was what the Zambian people wanted to see in their leaders.
“It is actually a sign of leadership and we want to urge all the ministers that served under that period to do the same so that we truly acknowledge that these people are truly patriots to this nation. And for those who feel they cannot, we feel very sad for those individuals who are against that decision…The only thing that you have to do as a leader is to pay [back] that money, to take heed and act and give back to the people of Zambia so that the money can be invested in other important avenues that will help citizens of this country,” said Kalumba. “Whenever such a situation comes about, it calls on the core of leadership to take steps and make sure that it is something that we should do willingly….”